The Alphabet Killer – Review

The Alphabet Killer Book Cover The Alphabet Killer
Prachi Sharma
Crime Thriller
HALF BAKED BEANS
29th January 2017
Paperback
180

A crime thriller by Prachi Sharma. A clean crime thriller - the story starts off with serial killing and clears the knots of ‘why’ and ‘who’ as you read. I observe that Prachi as an avid reader knows what would work and what might not, she has a clear vision so as to what she wants to do in this novella and just did that. Prachi sets a good benchmark for Indian authors who aspire to write a crime thriller. The language - so simple, grammar - on check, and vocabulary - hand-picked words. Kudos!

Am not diving into the story but to what I liked and didn’t.

What did I like?

  • Mia Santos - a feminist. The word ‘feminist’ -- are you raising your brows? I know, it’s not a ‘wow’ nor is an ‘ewww’ but in-between. (Most of them, not all), In this novella, Prachi has ETCHED this character - You can see Mia Santos fighting like a pro to save a woman - Don’t judge her there, wait up! She walks out of a relationship - she caught him red-handed with his ‘other’ woman. No, unlike most novels, the author did not describe Mia being all against men here, she brings the right emotions - yes, she hates him now because he cheated but, a big BUT, she also misses him, a part of her is still in love with him for what he was to her. This was so beautiful. You grow as a reader who is learning a character with every chapter; each chapter brings an aspect of Mia Santos onto the dias. A feminist is someone who voices/acts towards gender equality - otherwise, the emotions, reactions, etc.. have got to be as that of a normal woman and yes, Mia Santos is that for you. She feels sick and is threatened when she receives a blank call as well. I loved this character etching more than the novel itself.
  • Damien - a cop. Someone to fall in love with. Right from the first scene, we are left with hints that something clicky is about to happen between Damien and Mia, and it so beautifully does. Damien is just picture perfect, a character that one would instantly love. Though the scenes following are a bit slowed down, but there are different ‘what’ factors creeping in. So, in each chapter, there’s something to look for. This indeed is one of the most admirable factors because, there are books where the first chapter deals with a murder and the next few chapters turn a normal drama and suddenly there’s something about the murder. Whereas, Prachi handles the readers and holds them tight with hints that ‘something is out there.'
  • There are beautiful lines that I love from the novel: “Sometimes we make choices we don’t really like making.”

“To laugh at their pain, slice into their skin, slit through their carotid, feel the warmth of the blood that gushed out over him, and to sigh in orgasmic satisfaction as the light went out of their eyes and left their bodies – all was pure bliss,”

“..these misogynists! Can‟t stand strong, independent women; so they think trying to make our lives miserable will compensate for their lack of power,”

  • Prachi has beautifully weaved in lines about ‘people’ who pass insensitive comments on sex crimes against women. About the irritating questions that cops come up with
  • Also, there is a short flashback in the story which is all the more powerful. And, that connects to a scene that makes a lot of sense soon after the read

Frown factors:

  • I didn’t like the ‘second’ killing because it was killing my time. I know that it’s coming and I didn’t want to read more about it
  • Cliche scenes - Mia throwing up after two scenes, shouting ‘Nooooo’ and waking up from a nightmare, the past with her ex to justify why she suspects, etc..
  • The climax -- Pretty much predictable
  • Expected more brilliant execution and investigation - It was not as ‘page turning’ as I expected it to be.  

Overall, a good read. And, as Prachi has said in the book, I hope that she ‘takes the literary scene by storm.'

 

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