ONE OF CRIMEREADS' TEN NOVELS YOU SHOULD READ IN DECEMBER
ONE OF OPEN, THE MAGAZINE'S BEST OF 2021 BOOKS: CRIME FICTION
Harith Athreya is back, this time to face a centuries old-curse in the second novel in the internationally acclaimed series!
An archeological team is excavating on the banks of the Betwa River near Jahnsi. A place where, legend has it, a couple forbidden to marry had run away to be together—forever cursing anyone who dares set foot on the island. When the head of the expedition defies the myth, the fallout is swift and deadly, the body found exactly as the ancient stories describe. Is the death a result of the ancient curse, or is it a down-to-earth case of murder?
Detective Harith Athreya, an investigator with a vivid imagination, begins to uncover a mystery where the lines between past and present are blurred, reaping a harvest of evidence and motives—theft, plagiarism and a host of other crimes, showing that few of the archaeologists are what or who they appear to be. Will he be able to unravel the truth from legend before the curse strikes again?
The second novel in the internationally acclaimed Harith Athreya series is perfect for fans of riveting classic mysteries by Agatha Christie and films such as Knives Out.
Raman's enjoyable sequel to 2020's A Will to Killtakes private investigator Harith Athreya to an archaeological dig on the banks of the River Betwa in Bundelkhand, India, at the behest of investors in the excavation concerned about financial irregularities. The site is run by the overbearing and unpopular Mrs. Markaan, who has a reputation for taking credit for work done by junior archaeologists on her team. Legend has it that a couple, forbidden to marry because one was Hindu and the other Muslim, escaped to a nearby island with a giant mastiff dog and have haunted it ever since. When Mrs. Markaan turns up dead on the island, Athreya must determine whether the death is related to the troubles with the dig's finances, or if the island's myths have become real. Raman does a good job weaving in the mystery with a possibility of the supernatural, all while juggling a large cast of characters. A multilayered reveal in the final pages proves satisfying as well. Armchair travelers and fans of traditional mysteries should take note. Agent: Priya Doraswamy, Lotus Lane Literary.