Today, I will review a mystery I recently read, titled Rani of Rampur by Suneeta Misra, a new author. This novel follows a young journalist named Rani, who lives with her family in Barielly, a village in Northern India. She travels to another village, Rampur, to visit her mother's estranged sister, and to help plan a family wedding. Along the way, she uncovers long-buried secrets, and encounters plenty of drama and political intrigue.
I really enjoyed this book. It is well-written, interesting, and fast-paced. The main character was well-developed and there is a colorful cast of supporting (also well-developed) characters as well. This book is a gritty, thriller-type novel, that exposes the dirty underbelly of life in rural India, so some aspects may shock those readers with more conservative sensibilities. This, however, is the reality of life in the village, and as such, is necessary for the reader to get a more complete picture.
Being of Indian origin, I was familiar with many of the terms and cultural aspects described in the book. However, a lot of it was still new to me. I have only visited the big, modern cities, such as Mumbai and Delhi, during my travels. I have little knowledge of the ins and outs of village life and its unique hardships. Learning about this was fascinating to me, and I would love to read more books like this.
My only complaint was that I wish there was more to the book! I would like to hear more about Rani's adventures, and also the other characters. The author made them very realistic and "fleshed-out". Even the minor characters (like Mr. Tramp, a stray dog) resonated with me. Additionally, the book's setting was established well. I felt like I was there with Rani, uncovering the secrets of the household. I could almost smell the spices and hear the music, so to speak.
All in all, this is a book worth checking out. The quick, fast-paced style and the grittiness of the story help make it a unique, fun read. I look forward to seeing what else the author has to offer.
My Rating: 5 stars
My Rating: 5 stars
The link to the Kindle version of the book is below: