A celebrated singer, Deboleena Mukherjee is found dead in her house with the body of a man who has been shot in the head beside her. ACP Agni Mitra is assigned to uncover the truth of the double murder. As the investigation proceeds, hidden secrets are unveiled as Mitra delves deeper and deeper into the web of lies, greed, pain and pleasure that led to the deaths.
How did Deboleena die? Who is the man in Deboleena’s bedroom? What is their connection to each other? What is the motivation for murder? Will Mitra find the killer?
Follow ACP Agni Mitra on this Trail of Blood and find out!
The Trail of Blood is an Indian police procedural crime fiction novel that follows the lead detective ACP Agni Mitra as he solves crimes. This book is a part of the ACP Agni Mitra series. I have not read the previous volumes, but this one pretty much works as standalone police procedural with a specific case that comes to its natural conclusion by the end of the book.
The language is crisp and concise and the narrative is evenly paced. This one is a good, slow burn. The author has done a great job of including the key elements of crime fiction. The narratives (past-present and of different characters) are neatly tied together. The writing is very vivid and it is easy to visualise the characters, their mannerisms, their angst and expressions.
I just wish there was more of a thrill to the story, more drama and emotional depth.
The book starts out great, the prologue sets the atmosphere of mystery and intrigue and notches up the tension for the upcoming narrative. But as the story progresses, the narrative slows down and somewhere in the process of the investigation, the suspense and thrill peter out.
I have to admit I couldn’t relate to the MC to the extent I wanted to. This may be because in this book I only get a small glimpse into his personal life and a couple of his previous cases. Perhaps the previous books set a stronger tone for Agni’s character arc and one may need to visit those to follow his journey through the books.
One question that itches at me as of now is – Isn’t ACP a much higher post in the Police? Should an ACP be out doing grunt work in the field when he can easily employ his subordinates to go and interview POIs and do other routine investigative work?
As a reader, I like to invest in my detectives. I like to know their mental state and their home lives. I really like Mitra’s character and the backstory that is referred to in this book. I am definitely going to read the previous books to know more about him. Maybe I will find the answers to most of my questions in them!
All in all, I enjoyed reading this one. I am a Crime fiction junkie but I rarely have the opportunity to read Indian police procedurals. I am so glad I read Trail of Blood. The writing is very meticulous and intelligent. The transitions, the cut and fade, the tying up of all the separate narratives. As a writer, I found it extremely insightful!
The Trail of Blood is a thoroughly engrossing read. And if you are a reader like me, I recommend reading ‘In The Shadows of Death’ before you pick Trail of Blood. I am assuming that’s the first appearance of Agni Mitra and showcases much more of his own life than this one.
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