A WILL TO KILL is the New York Times Editor’s Choice (January 2021). NYT recommends this book.
A WILL TO KILL named one of the best traditional mysteries of 2020. By Crimereads.
The New York Times: “… a modern-day take on the classic locked-room murder mystery, transported to a remote mansion high in the hills of southern India.” … “Athreya is a fine detective with a curious mind, a cool eye for the chance detail, a skill in synthesizing disparate threads and a talent for resisting the insults of the requisite police officer assigned to the case.”
A murder mystery set in a colonial mansion in the misty Nilgiris.
Complete with a prophesy of death, a legend and a valley that is said to be haunted.
“In this kickoff to a new series, Raman brilliantly evokes Agatha Christie’s classic country estate mysteries for modern-day India. When a patriarch emerges from a legal battle victorious and with his estate again free to dispense, he summons his family to a mansion in the Nilgiris valley. Knowing he’s at risk of coming to an untimely end at his relatives’ hands, he draws up two wills, in sharp conflict with one another, with one set to prevail depending on the exact manner of his death. It’s an ingenious plot, and Raman takes obvious delight in teasing out the suspense to great effect.” – CrimeReads
“… a whodunnit modelled on the lines of classic mysteries with an old world charm …” – The Hindu
“… the influence of Agatha Christie on the author’s writing is unmissable. Enjoy a nostalgic trip back to your teenage years when crisp crime thrillers kept us awake for long nights.” – The Telegraph
“… the narrative tradition of Christie and Doyle has found a worthy successor in RV Raman.” – National Herald
“This is no regular whodunnit though! It is pacey, clean and doesn’t have a single dull moment.” … “What might feel like a simple plot is dealt with beautifully.” – Hindustan Times
“The influence of Agatha Christie and John Dickson Carr on the narrative is compelling … The narrative style also shows influences of author Ngaio Marsh. Like Marsh, Raman’s prose is what really makes him stand out. It is subtle, clear, ironic, but always elegant and peppered with witty liners; his characters sharply, sometimes hilariously, drawn.” – Orissa Post
“RV Raman knows how to take the simplest of subjects (which are relevant, too) and turn them into novels that you wouldn’t want to put down.” – The Hindustan Times
“Raman goes the Christie way in this excellent closed-room mystery that keeps us guessing till the very end even when the clues are out in the open.” – The Statesman
“While comparisons to veteran thriller writer John Grisham are inevitable, Raman’s writing is more inspired by the older canon of crime writing.” – The New Indian Express
“Raman stays true to his reputation of delivering an intricate plot with characters of substance, the right dose of suspense and bind it all together by keeping the narrative pacy. The corporate setup is easy to understand even for those with no business background.” – The Hindustan Times
“RV Raman picks a crime fiction to make a debut and weaves a tight plot and a clear narrative to keep you engrossed.” – The Hindustan Times
“Every reader will be compelled to treat the case at hand as if they are the person solving it, because Raman’s narrative (which at times will remind you of Agatha Christie’s work) allows you to speculate and theorise quite often” – The Hindustan Times
“Fraudster (Hachette) is an amusing work by first-time author, RV Raman, challenging some of the stereotypes in the genre of thrillers. The way the book is pieced together is remarkable, in that it looks nicely webbed.” – The New Indian Express
“If art imitates life, then we all need to be very worried. RV Raman’s novel, Fraudster, is an insider’s account of the less than salubrious side of the corporate world.” – Deccan Chronicle
“Red herrings galore, there is never a dull moment in the book. The writing is crisp and self-assured and the author’s confidence shows in the way the story unfolds and in the way the motives and secrets of characters are revealed. The cliffhanger chapter-ends and solutions have readers slapping their foreheads. The denouement is crisp and impactful and doesn’t draw out over pages.” – Orissa Post
WHITE COLLAR CRIME IS NOT NEW TO INDIA. THE SCALE IS.
The spectacular growth India has enjoyed in the past decade has driven the stakes higher than ever before, and has had an unintended casualty – ethics.
The growth that brought a flood of opportunities and created entrepreneurs has also enabled scam artists. Businessmen who had nothing to do with power generation, for instance, try to set up power projects. Colleges sprout on vast acreages in the middle of nowhere, with few students and fewer teachers. Warehouses and retail space sometimes serve as facades for real estate plays.
In this occasionally unholy dash, aspiration sometimes outpaces ability, and men resort to murky means. Access to funds and approvals become the tallest hurdles to profiteering, but some enterprising ones find ingenious ways around these obstacles.
In this, they are abetted by another consequence of our dramatic growth – greed. Men who held staid jobs for years suddenly find themselves as gatekeepers, controlling the flow of money and approvals. Some fall to temptation.
These are stories of the black sheep of corporate India. How far are they from reality? Gentle Reader, you be the judge.