“She is beautiful, she is smart, she is kind, she is a bloody rare find. But she is dead now …
What happened? Who killed her- the chief minister’s secret mistress?”
Joygopal Podder’s ‘Chief Minister’s Mistress‘ is a crime thriller novel about the murder of Priyanka Singhal, which happens under mysterious circumstances and the investigation is constantly getting botched up due to the slimy politics between the chief minister’s aides and the police.
The plot revolves around Rajat Sharma, a lawyer who just returned to the state from a foreign assignment. His character is responsible for pushing the story forward as Rajat strongly believes that Priyanka’s death was not because of a night prowler’s attack. In his search for Priyanka’s murderer, Rajat leads us to many other characters as well, most importantly, the chief minister’s aids who try very hard to cover up the murder case by blaming it on someone else.
The story does not delve much into what the chief minister’s mistress was like; it is less about her and more about the journey to finding her murderer.
Unexpectedly, Ravindra Pratap Singh, the Chief Minister, is more uninformed of the murder than anyone else in the story. His character’s role as a chief minister is explored more than the role of a husband cheating on his wife. In fact, the reader may end up sympathising with him towards the end of the book.
Different characters from various professions are explored like the detective inspector, Badrish Sharma who desperately wants to get to the bottom of this case as his promotion waits and the film actor, Chandan Kumar who unwillingly gets involved in the murder case. The chief minister’s aides, Sudhir Mishra and Dinesh Singh, two of the shadiest characters in the novel are fleshed out in such a way that they become easy suspects in the reader’s eye.
The author uses straight forward narrative, dividing the book into different chapters. He uses very simple language throughout the book, though the way the plot twists and turns have been written do not excite the reader much. The story is interesting but it fails to hold a strong grip towards the end as the climax may disappoint the reader. This story would have been more impactful if it was written for television or film rather than for literary fiction.
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