Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Review of Murder mystery: Bollywood Storm

Review of Bollywood Storm, by N.K. Johel

I don't read mu8rder mysteries as a rule but this one was good.

Bollywood Storm is a murder mystery, not my favorite genre. Yet I enjoyed reading this one. This is the first of a two book set. There are prior mysteries and a possible murder to be solved before the main event. The main case is about a famous Bollywood director who was in Robust health but died in his sleep. The central figure, detective Elanna Forsythe George has a bit more to go on than just that.

George is actually a very interesting detective. She only takes long cold cases. That's not so interesting, I'm sure all murder mystery detectives are given challenges. George is a private detective, that makes her meddeling a bit more plausible. At least she doesn't have to put up with stupid questions like “why is a priest invested a murder?” or, “why is an old woman concerned about about a murder? But that's not so interesting, Perry Mason and inspecter Lewis and lots of others have good excuses to investigate. George is also an academic and has a career as a professor. That's not so interesting (although it endears me to her). The interesting thing about Elanna Forsythe George is that she breaks the mold of the rational dispassionate detective calmly adding up the clues, but George actually becomes the murderer, the victim, and others. Becoming the victim was a like spiritism or pneumatic possession. She is seemingly possessed by the spirit of the victim, with surprising results. This as far as I know like no other mystery story detective. I'm sure that Jhoel is making a point about the value of subjectivity in knowledge.

The book is chock full of tropes and symbols, and overt images and incidents pertaining to India, its culture, and Bollywood movies. Some of these are explained, but they don't get in the way. The clues are laid out well and well thought out. They seem natural to the story. Jhoel's writing style is engaging. The book flows well. It's enjoying to read. The book is interesting and fun to read.

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