Book title – The secret of the Palamu Fort
Publisher – Story Mirror
Author – Razi
Price – ₹ 299/- Pages – 264 Language – English
Available on – Amazon
The title itself – ‘The Secret of the Palamu Fort’ is enough to intrigue a reader and I must say that I was not disappointed. The cover design, a warrior brandishing a bow and fiery arrow, hints at a historical novel. But, that is far from the truth for the setting of the novel is modern and yet doused in history.
The print quality of the book is superb. The text is easy to read as the font size has been deliberately kept readable. The book is an engaging, swift read that keeps you riveted till the end (when the mystery unfolds).
The book is set in Jharkhand, a state which I admit when viewed through the author’s lens comes across as beautiful. The protagonist is a detective called Robin Horo. A shrewd and yet principled man, he is a knowledgeable man. He hails from a modest background and is reared by his trusted manservant after the untimely demise of his parents. A self-taught man, he is an avaricious reader and assists the local police to solve cases.
The camaraderie that is evident between the characters of the book is its USP. It sucks you in and lets you imagine the story as a part and not just as a reader. So, essentially you become a character in the mystery and are fearful and awed in equal measure.
The book opens to the murder of a professor. That’s no surprise, right? After all it is a murder mystery. But, wait a minute…the surprise is that the murder is supposedly done by; hold your breath – a ghost! And, that too it is the ghost of a man who supposedly died 350 years ago, protecting a great secret. Ooh, suspenseful, isn’t it?
Now that’s a sucker-punch and that is what made me sit up. I mean, who does not like reverting mystery dipped in a scary backdrop? Well, that is not all.
The book comes replete with a strange box and a magical key which is given for safekeeping to the chief suspect. There is also a buried treasure. Yes, this book has all that. It makes you live the chase and how!
This book has everything – murder, mystery, suspense, drama and even a hidden treasure.
Now on to the describing the actual book – Many of you bibliophiles would remember Enid Blyton stories from your childhood, the famous five, the secret seven, and the five find-outers, etc. Well, this book reminded me of those childhood stories. It is written in an easy to understand style that will resonate with both adults and children. It is just good, clean fun.
The language is simple and not superfluous at all, including the vocabulary. The narrative flows smoothly and you find yourself turning the pages fast in order to read the next chapter, such is the excitement the author infects you with.
Apart from the suspenseful story, what also shines through (and what I personally loved) in the book is the author’s love for Jharkhand. The love with which he describes the state, its vibrant history and the rich character of its native folk, was most endearing. Another thing that shone through was the author’s love for science.
The history depicted in the book is well researched (I know because I checked) and the author exhibits a grasp of the finer details. I recommend this book to anyone who’s mind is titillated by mystery and intrigue (which will be most of you, I guess).
Hmm…in fact this book is quite the Bollywood Masala Movie type! Are any producers listening?