Title– The Madras Mangler
Author– Usha Narayanan
Publisher– Leadstart Publishing
Genre– Suspense Thriller
The book is about 5 Friends Kat, Moti, Minx, Lolita and Deepika who are studying in SS Padmaja College. These 5 friends are facing a tough time in the college due to some mischievous guys (gangs of Jambu and Rakesh) who are ragging and teasing them. Apart from them all the friends have issues in their personal life related to marriage or parents.
Then a turn of events takes place. The human limb is found floating in the Adyar River of Chennai. More investigations by the police reveal some more bodies in the river- bodies of college girls all aged between 17 to 25. Vir Pradyumna, a forensic expert from New York, is called by Bishnu who is a member of Indian intelligence agency and a friend of Vir.
Vir in collaboration with Indian Intelligence works to unearth the motive and next move of the killer. He predicts that next victim could be from SS Padmaja College. Who is the next victim? Will it be one of the 5 friends? Will police and Vir be able to capture the killer in time?
There are other characters also in the novel such as Sushil (fiancée of Minx), Aryan & Balwan.
This is the debut novel for Usha Narayanan. Usha has a background in Literature, with a gold medal in English Literature from the University of Madras and a writing course from Hawaii. Her previous stints include being an English teacher and a creative director in an ad agency. She has also worked for radio station.
The book is a nice read. The story is well written with no loopholes . However it does not create the motivation to finish the book in one seating as is expected from any suspense thriller. There were some irrelevant characters such as Balwan, Shaitan and Asuras which were only introduced to increase the page count. The Hollywood action crew and the helicopter stunt during India-Australia ODI in the last was a drama which is typical for a movie setup. Also the climax of the book feels a bit rushed up; not a great climax. But being the first novel of the author, she has done a commendable job with the book.
I would rate the book as 2.5/5 purely because of the lack of interest the book generated and lot of drama content typically which can be seen in movies.