Here’s my take on The Alphabet Killer by Prachi Sharma.
The city of Mumbai goes past, cold, impersonal, self-absorbed. A killer waits in the shadows, anticipating his prey. Mia Santos is a successful author, feminist and Chief Editor of the Mumbai chapter an international feminist magazine. Someone is raping and killing the women she works with, one by one, and carving out the initials A.B onto their foreheads. The media gives him the moniker ‘The Alphabet Killer’ Mia’s getting taunted and tormented by someone who claims to be the killer. She’s the only one who knows what the initials mean, and the killer’s end game. The same is suspected by CID Inspector Damien De Silva, who’s investigating the killings. Even as he tries to work with Mia, he starts getting attached to her. What is that horrible past which Mia’s worked so hard to bury? Why is the killer so adamant to unravel this past? Will Mia reciprocate Damien’s feelings? Will they be able to work together and find the killer before he executes his horrifying climax?
The story revolves around Mia Santos, a feminist. She is a successful Author, Chief Editor of a feminist magazine and runs her own NGO for women and girls. She has a past which she has buried deep inside her.
However, out of nowhere, the women that she works with start getting raped and killed and the only identity of the killer are the two alphabets A.B. that he leaves on his victims. Mia receives a phone call from the killer and she might have some idea of who could it be. Mia, along with CID inspector Damien De Silva, tries to solve this case. Does Mia know really the killer? Would they be able to catch him? What was Mia’s past? Read the book to know all about it.
Coming to the review, the story begins with a gripping flow. Mia is shown as a strong-headed woman who knows what she wants in her life. Such strong female leads are very rare. Talking about the narration, Mia’s friendship with her colleagues is wonderfully written. Mia has been portrayed as a strong independent woman who doesn’t let her past come between her and her future. Damien has been shown as an understanding cop.
The level vocabulary used in the book is appropriate. This is the debut novel of the author, and to my delight, she has done a commendable job.
I would like to give this book 2 out of 5 stars.
Even though the book started pretty good, things turned messy in between. I felt that the author lost the grip somewhere. The second part of the book looked rushed and the climax was unable to justify the story. The writing style was a bit monotonous. Dialogues were lengthy and confusing at some places. The story lacked details (not the background details but scenic details).
I could feel that the storytelling was not up to the point because of which I was unable to connect with the characters. Instead of telling what the characters were going through, the author could have visually painted it for us, especially when Mia is telling her past to Damien. As a reader, I found it hard to connect with Mia emotionally.
Most of the story is from Mia’s perspective but few chapters are from Damien’s, killer’s, and colleague’s perspectives too. Mia’s perspective is in first-person, and the rest are in third person format. Reading the book with shuffling perspectives could be irritating at times.
Note – Personal Views: The love story between Mia and Damien seems forced and rushed. I felt that the love story part was included just so that Mia could have her ways in the investigation. Damien looked like a puppet in the hands of Mia. The book could have done without a love story. The identity of the killer becomes pretty obvious too. Mia’s behavior at some places was plain rude in the name of feminism. Honestly, feminism doesn’t justify an unacceptable behavior. The story majorly revolved around Mia, which cut the value of the roles of the other characters almost zero.
I was excited when I picked up The Alphabet Killer to read as I’m a fan of crime thrillers, and a pinch of romance is always welcome. Even though the start was promising this book turned out to be a huge disappointment for me. Maybe because I expected too much from this book. I leave the decision of reading this book to the readers.
Thank you and regards,