Book review | To Kill a Billionaire by Rajesh Talwar
Author: Rajesh Talwar
Genre: Legal Thriller, Crime Thriller
No. of pages: 187
Published by: Kalpaz Publications
Published on: 1st January 2021
My rating: ★★★☆☆
A billionaire's son goes missing. A young girl commits suicide after a rape. This is a twisted, ironic tale of a brother's love for his sister and his faith in vengeance as the only alternative to a deeply flawed justice system. The brother, a trial court lawyer practising in the lower courts of Delhi, uses the weaknesses of the legal system to confront and confound one of the world's richest men. The story that unfolds takes the reader through the labyrinthine corridors of the Indian legal system to a shattering climax.
When a billionaire's son - Amit Patel - goes missing, all suspect turn towards the criminal lawyer whose sister had recently been a victim of Amit and his lawyer Sunil's sexual exploitation. As Ramesh's sister Ruhno succumbs to suicide, Ramesh takes it upon himself to avenge Ruhno. Being a lawyer himself, Ramesh knows the corrupted legal system of the country won't suffice. Hence starts Ramesh's plot to bring Amit and Sunil down.
To Kill a Billionaire is an elaborately structured legal thriller. Even though you know the culprit from the first page itself, the mystery lies in the handiwork of the crime. To be honest, there's not much mystery in it. It's actually the slow build up in the story - as one revelation after another takes place, that gets you hooked to the book. As if the author is stripping off layers in the story one by one.
This book did a lot to teach me how the inside work is done in the Indian legal system. From the networking to the dirty illegal tasks - this story did cover a lot many things that had a play in Ramesh's vengeance story. Also, the I loved how the author narrated the story from Ramesh's pov. As Ramesh's character takes us readers through the story, he brings out the key players who helped him avenge Ruhno by giving us background stories about these said characters. The book felt like a puzzle being solved, as Ramesh brings out his puzzle pieces to give us the complete picture of the story.
One thing that did not sit well with me is that there was no surprise or shocking element in the book. Considering it was a legal thriller, I would have liked to be surprised. So I was little disappointed in that department.
Rajesh Talwar studied Negotiation at Harvard, Human Rights Law at Nottingham, and Law and Economics at Delhi University. He has worked for the United Nations on legal and justice-related issues in Somalia, Liberia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Timor-Leste. Prior to working for the UN, he practised law and taught law at Delhi University and Jamia Millia Islamia. He is the author of more than a dozen books, many of which are available and listed at www.amazon.com/author/rajeshtalwar. In non-fiction he has most recently written 'Courting Injustice: The Nirbhaya Case and Its Aftermath' (Hay House, 2013). In fiction his latest novel is 'How to Kill a Billionaire' (Juggernaut Books; 2016).
I received a copy of the book in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.