Before You Breathe — by Tanushree Podder
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Price: Rs. 299 INR(paperback), Rs. 185 INR(Kindle edition)
ISBN: 978– 9353029401
Buy here: https://amzn.to/2H229aL
The small and peaceful hill town of Ramsar wakes up to mysterious break-ins on two consecutive days. While the first one takes place at the local doctor’s clinic, the second is at the residence of the town’s latest and most affluent resident — Shekhar Sharma. Inexplicably, nothing has been stolen in either case. The mysterious incidents confounded the police as well as Ramsar’s residents. And before one mystery can be solved, another turns up, with a death of a stranger whom no one can identify. And so begins a game of cat-and-mouse between the criminal and the town’s resident amateur sleuth, Colonel Arjun H Acharya. Who is intent on wreaking havoc in Ramsar? And can Colonel Acharya find out the truth before time runs out?
About the author:
Born at New Delhi, she worked in the corporate sector for eight long years before Tanushree quit the rat race to wield her pen and found her calling.
A well know travel writer and novelist, she is also known for the hundreds of ‘Middles’ that entertained readers of almost all English dailies in the country for over a decade. Tanushree is passionate about travelling and writing. If the lady is not packing her bags to zip around the world, she is sure to be found tapping the keys of her computer.
Among her bestselling books in non- fiction genre are Death of a Dictator — The Story of Saddam Hussein, Secrets of Happiness, The Ultimate Food for Body, Mind and Soul, The Power of Relaxation. The book Smart Memory has also been translated into Tamil and Spanish.
Her first novel Nurjahan’s Daughter was published in 2005. It was followed by Boots Belts Berets, which has now been reissued in an abridged version. The third title Escape from Harem was published in 2013.
Then came On the Double, a sequel to Boots Belts Berets. It was published by Roli Books in September, 2015.
Solo in Singapore, was published by Harper Collins,
The latest book A Closetful of Skeletons, published by Harper Collins will be available from 25 December, 2017.
With five successful novels, a dozen best selling nonfiction titles and few hundred travel tales under her belt, she is all set to launch into yet another voyage with words.
She lives with her husband at Pune.
Tanushree can be contacted on email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via her website at http://www.tanushreepodder.com. on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/tpodder
Her travel stories can be found at http://tanushreez.wordpress.com
My take on the book:
The calm and peaceful town of Ramsar suddenly wakes up to news of a break-in of the local Doctor’s clinic. While nothing goes missing, the report of a break-in the next day of the bungalow of the rich business man Shekar Sharma raises a few eyebrows. Before the police can find the reasons behind both these mysteries, a death happens, which quickly turns from a natural one to a suspected murder. The local police Tim supported by Colonel Acharya, Ramsar’s very own detective try to question multiple suspects before they have more puzzles unraveling. An unknown man lands in the hospital in coma only making things further complicated. With extreme pressure from higher-ups to find the murderer’s identity and to avoid further crime in Ramsar, how far will Tim and Acharya succeed in this quest for truth forms the rest of the story.
Like any murder mystery, the story begins with multiple unexpected events unfolding quickly and police jumping into the crime scene to solve it. As Tim and Acharya start questioning the residents and servants of the bungalow, past of each of its residents starts unfolding, each of them having their own share of secrets. At the end of every few sequences there are new truths unveiled and the number of suspects only keep increasing, before all the loose ends are tied together to reveal the identity of the offender.
Any murder mystery has a set premise, with the main characters having their own past, ghosts which keep showing up to threaten their sanity. The reader will keep guessing for a major part of the book about the identity of the criminal as the author makes each of them a suspect with their own hidden motive, either for personal or financial reasons. However, the story suffers in the second half as the identity of the mysterious man is given away easily. Also the fact that the police and the detective could not piece together the reason between the two initial break-ins is disappointing, as the mystery seems dragged too far in an attempt to reveal the past lives of all suspects.
With the same characters and premise, if the author could have narrated the story with a different flow by throwing in the clues in a different order, the story could have retained the reader’s interest till the end. If you are a fan of mysteries, this one is a good one time read with a decent first half.