Serial killer tales have never failed in impressing the readers. The gorier the crimes the more thrilling the book. Hence a serial killer story where in girls of around ten years age are found dead with their heart removed is sure to incite the intrigue of the readers hence the book Ritual by Uttarandas Gupta.

Evolved in the background of Kolkata, Ritual is a darm murder mystery that is a blend of gruesome crime, religious fanaticism and assumed infidelity. ACP Ashutosh and his deputy Pradeep are assigned the case. The book is narrated in the first person narrative of Pradeep. The style of naraation is impressive, when Pradeep is seemingly have an engaging conversation with the readers. The intermittemt explanations about how Pradeep got to know about what happened with Ashutosh at several instances serves the purpose of closing the loopholes.

Uttaran Das Gupta veers away from the classic Bengali detective novel to reveal the sleazy, seamy underbelly of the City of Joy. The new classic: Kolkata noir’ MADHULIKA LIDDLE

It is brave on the authors part to reveal a major suspense of the plot in the blurb itself. The role of Vasant Sena in the whole plot. Despite this major spoiler of sorts, author has deftly held the readers and withheld their intrigue without fail, through the finesse of the craft. The characters are the USP of the plot. Every plot and sub plot is led by the characters. The analog of Vasantsena with the famous political-religious organisation in India is not lost on the readers.

ACP Ashutosh's personal life is also intertwined with the plot. Nonetheless author has carefully kept it wrapped to such an extend that only the relevant details are given and hence there is no lag in the plot. One of the commendable quality of the book is the consistent pace of the plot. It never drips anywhere in the plot. The readers will be surely stuck with the book till the end.

Uttaran Das Gupta is a New Delhi-based writer and journalist. He writes columns on films and literature, and his first book of poems, Visceral Metropolis, was published in 2017. This is his first novel.


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