Thursday, May 24, 2012

Book Review: Murder In Amaravati by Sharath Komarraju

Hello All,

This is a review of the book, Murder In Amaravati by Sharath Komarraju. The book's pitch-line says something like this

Padmavati, the village hostess's body is found in the sacred chamber of the Kali temple. Men wanted her; women hated her; while some men wanted to keep their liaisons hidden. 

But who had the motive, means and opportunity to kill her?

Padmavati charged by the hour her - laughs, her understanding, her empathy, her advice - everything was available only in return for payment, which made her, in the sarpanch Seetaraamaiah's eyes, little more than a trader.

Look, the priest Krishna Shastri said, pointing to the letters around him. Satyam, Shekhar, Seetaraamaiah  how many men did she have in her grasp? How many?

The onus of solving the case put head constable Venkat Reddy in a quandary. He has never even solved petty crimes and here he is faced with a murder!

If this were a novel, the constable Venkat Reddy thought vacantly, would the reader think of him as a worthy detective? Would anyone bother reading about a bungling, confused constable pretending to be a detective? The equation before him is simple: seven suspects, seven motives, one murder.

About the Author:
Sharath Komarraju is a Bangalore-based IT specialist. On a typical day he spends eight hours testing software and two writing fiction. (He hopes to some day flip that balance.) His short fiction appears in Reading Hour, a print bi-monthly based in India, and also in Pratilipi, an online quarterly. Murder in Amaravati is his first novel. You can read more about the author @

What have I got to say about the book?

   Book for sure introduces you to the life of people in typical Indian Village. Tells us how secrets can't be hidden in villages, how everyone knows everything in a village and how people interact, treat each other and live. The book shows how disturbed the people were about the murder and the hatred of the village folk towards the village hostess. The book tells how the folk would like to stick to their own, old traditions and neither think beyond nor accept those who think beyond. But the characters are too few to get complete picture about lifestyle.  

  The description of the village is good but incomplete. You get to know a few glimpses of history of the village, its glorious past, its geography, the great banyan tree and such. It would have been better had a few legends / myths of the area been included.

   Sharath has done a good job in hatching the plot and getting the book published for sure. But I somehow felt the plot came out all too fast. For most part of the book, you are a clueless reader and in the next moment village priest and the constable keep singing, proposing various plots, accusing many a people with each accusal more ridiculous than the other. 

     The plot, though tries to convince you that everyone is guilty, isn't very strong in itself. The suspects are all normal people with their day to day life, with their own thoughts, own failures and own ways. The constable himself rising to challenge of investigating a murder is quite cool. The book might become a little more interesting if the constable is good at investigating and uses a few tricks here, a few traps there and there by adding color to the book, enticing the information hungry reader.

   The book didn't actually show much about the characters / murder / village but tells a lot. It tells a story doesn't show. You know a little about how they dress, how they look or how they eat. I am no great a literary genius but I would love to be showed, I would be happy when I can see the characters, when I can co-relate to them, when I imagine them moving by my side and see the plot hatching in front of me. Alas I am disappointed by this book for sure.

   The epilogue for sure has some surprises to everyone around. Don't forget to read the same. The twist about who killed the village hostess for sure is cool. But again, the plot came out too soon to add a punch to the twist.

    4/10 would be good. Yeah, starters can read the book for sure. People who love light reading can read it. I don't believe that the book would capture the imagination of book-worms.

I have received a free copy of the book for this review. This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

with warm regards
Abhishek Boinapalli


Anonymous said...


Agree with your review.
However, I see that as Editing errors - the essential ingredients were there but wrongly placed.

Yes, 'show, not tell' is the holy grail of writing. Very few authors gets it.

Have you written any fiction book?

PS: pls drop by review of the same book at

Abhishek said...


No I haven't written any book myself!!!

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