Book Review – The Return of Damayanti

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This Book is the second book in the Detective series by Nisha Singh, featuring our own home grown sleuth Bhrigu Mahesh , an ex-police inspector and his friend Sutte , a writer .
The book starts with a rather innocuous but interesting case of a retired head clerk Nataraj Bhakti ,whose wife Damayanti seems to be haunting him after few days of her death .He requests Brighu Mahesh to take up his case and solve this mystery .Bhrigu and Mahesh then set out for Krishna Dwar the village where Natraj Bhakti resided.Krishna Dwar also happens to be a famous place for pilgrimage where devotees flock from all over India .Once the duo reach there , they are met with more mysteries , a murder and many more colourful and interesting characters .The rest of the book deals with unfolding of the mystery of the ghost of Damayanti and solving the murder mystery .
In some places I was reminded of “Malgudi Days ” for the immaculate narration of the life in a small village and in some places I was reminded of Arthur Conan Doyle, the man who created “Sherlock Holmes and Dr.Watson “.But it would be an injustice say that the book had any more of the similarities .The similarities end just here .Brigh Mahesh is a gum chewing socially affable Ex-cop and Sutte is no war veteran but is a sensitive writer.
What I liked about this book
For such a young writer, Nisha Singh has already developed an inimitable writing style and to foray into the relatively male bastion of detective stories with success is a commendable feat .One generally associates female writers with either light ad frothy Chick-lit or mostly women centric books .Nisha has done a fine job of storytelling and also of binding the readers interest till the very last .Not only this , but certain observations of human nature that the lead character makes seem to come from a very mature and experienced mind that belies her years .
I was elated and very happy that after so many years I got to read a very different writing style which I had not seen among the current crop of writers .It has a laid back and elaborate feel to it where the author takes her time to give us fully blown characters from their mannerisms to their insecurities .In fact this book and Brighu Mahesh the main character who investigates the Saga of the Ghost of Damayanti , talk in depth about human behaviour and its peculiarities.
The writer transports you to Krishna Dwar with her narration, it is quite in depth and detailed.
The story is interesting and the interest and mystery is maintained till the very end.
What I did not like about the Book
At some places the author gets too much into details,theories and postulations , and the book starts feeling tedious and the story trails .But since it holds your interest you cannot skip any paragraphs !
FINAL VERDICT  – I rate it a 4/5 , A good book , well written and well executed though tedious and slow at places . “The Return of Damayanti ” makes for an interesting read that will keep you engrossed.
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