Bookish Witch

The Death of Me by Chitrangada Mukherjee

Book blurb:

Sukanya Swaminathan is dead. She committed suicide by jumping off the terrace of her building, while her son slept in his room and her husband worked on a high priority project in his plush IT office.

It does seem like a case of suicide. Except for the fact that Sukanya’s face was burnt by acid.

As Inspector Raman and SI Nair investigate the death of a forty five year old housewife, they are befuddled by the complexity of the case.

Was Sukanya just another statistic? A depressed housewife jumping to her death. Or, did someone bump her off? And most importantly, what is Sukanya’s side of the story?

Genre: Fiction/ Psychological thriller

Pages: 53

Format: Kindle eBook

Price: 99 INR/ $3.24

My Ratings: 4.3/5

Sukanya Swaminathan is a housewife with a seemingly perfect life. Her marriage of 24 years with a husband she cares about and their loving son are proof of that. To society, they appear to be the ideal family. But suddenly on one night, Sukanya commits suicide. Why would she do that? Is it suicide at all?

Is it suicide or murder?

What I liked about the book:
–> The story towards the empty and meaningless existence of many housewives in India who are taken for granted by their families and feel unloved/unwanted in their own homes.
–> It is a quick read that can be finished in a single reading of an hour max.
–> You know there is foul play, but you won’t be able to guess the truth.
–> The story keeps you hooked till the end.
–>That the story is narrated in the form of POVs, of Sukanya and the two policemen conducting the investigation of her death.
–> The USP of this book is its simplicity. This is the story of me and you. This is a story of us.
–> The dark and sometimes silly humor.

What I did not like about the book:
–> The conversations between the two inspectors are confusing and felt beating around the bush at times.
–> The characters of the neighbors and their illicit affair seemed important to the plot. I wished they were explored more.
–> The book felt a tad costly for the length which is just 53 pages.
–> The suspense becomes kind of a giveaway after the first few chapters (but this could be just for me because I have read so many thriller books)

Quotable quotes:
—> Life gets so boring at times that only a vision of death brings the focus back to life.
—> Things never work the way you want it to. Does it?
—> Death didn’t scare him anymore. It had become routine. A daily occurrence. And to face it every day, he resorted to using humour.
—> It has been twenty four years since then and life has become fixed and certain. Sometimes, I wonder if the uncertainty and confusion of my youth were better.
—> He was a Malayali from a rich family. How else can one afford to make a living and buy a home through painting?
—> Housewives did commit suicide across India. The statistics were astoundingly high. They comprised the largest chunk of death through suicide, second only to daily wage workers. Every day more than sixty housewives across India died due to depression, economic dependence, arranged marriages, domestic violence, early motherhood and low social status.
—> You don’t have to burn your finger to know that fire burns you.
—> There’s something mysterious and adventurous about doing something the world tells you not to.
—> We do what is forbidden. Life becomes boring and stale otherwise. Routine work and family become tedious after a while. Something new takes us in a different direction.
—> “You know what the ocean reminds me of?”
“Childhood.”
“The mind of a woman. Deep, volatile and mysterious.”

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