Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd is a book I had to read. Why? Because it is set in my hometown, Kanpur. And, when the book is sent by your favorite, it becomes all the more special. A big thanks to Blogchatter for sending me this book as part of their Book Review program. In fact, the author Richa Mukherjee got me excited about the book much before its reveal, with the information that it’s set in Kanpur. I have a lot to say and even ask the author (maybe another post on QnA with the author?) about the book. So, let’s dive into why one must read Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd.
The story is about a detective, Prachand Tripathi from Kanpur, who till date has succeeded in solving quite a number of cases; but unfortunately, cases of finding missing persons or animals and chasing cheating spouses. Things start getting exciting for him and his partner in crime and wife, Vidya when one fine day a stranger gets him a bag full of money for keeping an eye on the yesteryear actress Shailaja Kapoor who has come for a stay in the city.
However, situations soon seem to change against the detective, when the actress is kidnapped and her husband is found murdered, and Prachand and Vidya somehow become the prime suspects of the kidnapping and the murder.
Now, the only way to prove their innocence is through Shailaja Kapoor. But, she is missing.
The Cover of Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd
The cover of the book is quite intriguing; a half-opened door revealing a man holding a magnifying glass, a muffler around his neck, a mustache, a round doorknob, and white blinds; all typical of detectives, fit in the picture extremely well.
The cover of the book really gives you the feel of a great mystery hiding inside ready to be solved. To me, the cover spoke a lot about detectives. Everything is so secretive with them. They have to keep a runaway-bag ready all time with all the basic detective essentials (even a pair of artificial mustache and beard). And the best part, no one could know about this bag.
Well, once the book is in your hands, I’m sure you would stare at the cover for a while.
What I didn’t like
This is already a much talked about book on Twitter. But for now, let’s talk about the city first (can’t hold back this part. It’s my city!).
Being from Kanpur, reading the names of certain places like Birhana Road, Kalyanpur, Naveen Market sent a surge of belonging immediately. It felt like a proud moment, you know, to read the name of your city and the areas in a book.
However, I am a little disappointed with how the author has portrayed the protagonist, Prachand Tripathi, and his family. I mean the entire picture is extremely cliched. Kanpur is a very well-developed city. With educated people, malls, high-end cars, and high-rise apartments. Urban Kanpur doesn’t have houses with a cow or a grandmom on a charpoy.
I would have preferred had the author presented a more Urban and up-scale picture of my city. Considering that books and movies (especially the latter) have the power to make or break an image.
What I liked about Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd
The writing style and the narrative throughout the story are quite smooth. This is my first read by the author and I must say I really liked her writing style. Not for once did I feel like putting down the book. The story moves smoothly, though at certain places I did feel that lesser description could have also worked. Also, the story did sound bollywoodish, but, you know, at times despite knowing that it’s cliched, you are still at the edge, because you want to know what’s next?
Though I guessed who the culprit is much before the end, I kept on reading to know how the story would move forward, how if the protagonist would come out clean, how the author keeps me glued. Now, these are some questions that keep a person continue reading and that’s what Richa managed to do extremely well.
Richa has very beautifully woven the story. There are no loopholes in the story (except one, which I think I should confirm with the author). Just when you least expect she throws another ball at you.
The protagonist’s family is described really well. I loved the character sketch of Prachand’s grandmom. She is so hilarious and very typical of her age and yes, a small city lady (maybe some 50 years back if we had such ladies in Kanpur? Will have to confirm with my parents.)
However, as far as the story is concerned, I wish there were more wow moments from Prachand while solving the case. He did solve the case, of course. In fact, you would get Oh Really? moments till the very end of the story, especially when you think it’s all over. The climax is written extremely well, I must say. One after another the pieces fit in the puzzle despite some wild card entries.
P.S. I also would have loved if Prachand’s character sketch could have been of a handsome dude?!
Why should you read Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd?
- If you like crime fiction
- For a light read
- If you want to pick a book that doesn’t make you chew your nails but keeps you on the edge nevertheless
- For a good climax
- If you want a bollywoodish touch in a book
Overall, I’d say Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd is definitely worth a read. It’s full of humor, crime, suspense, all woven in a smooth narrative that will surely keep you glued.
Rating- 4.75 Stars
You can buy the book here.
5 Stars: I loved it!
4 Stars: A good book. But not 100%.
3 Stars: I really enjoyed reading the book. However, certain things didn’t fall in place for me.
2 Stars: It was an okay read.
1 Star: Didn’t enjoy reading at all.