A Useful Death by Sriram Chellapilla
After a long time, I have read a crime thriller that has been meticulously planned and perfectly executed with the right blend of thrill and suspense. Sriram Chellapilla has brilliantly penned the murky and manipulative game loaded crime thriller. Loved it.
The Useful Death
The Useful Death by Sriram Chellapilla reminded me of a Man Booker prize winner book - The God Of Small Things written by Arundhati Roy. An untouchable's death was seen as an opportunity by political parties to meet their selfish end. Sriram Chellapilla also weaves his story around a similar scenario, with different treatment.
Story in Brief
Priya, an aspiring and talented actress was found dead in her apartment. All fingers points towards Anil, the star child of the superstar actor turned politician Mohan Krishna, to drive her towards suicide. The rumor was ripe about the affair between them. Anil reiterates innocence and private investigators were hired to look into the matter.
Dirty Games of Power
The trio, Partha, Harsha, and Seema start digging the circumstances which forced Priya to take such an extreme step. The roots of the cause run deeper than expected, and there was more to this than meets the eye. Skeletons buried started tumbling out from the closet ruffling many feathers. The dirty game of manipulation will force you to cringe.
The story reveals the opportunistic crocodiles swamping in the fields of politics, media, unions, film industry, universities, and others who can stoop down to any level to meet their objectives. So much so they can convert a tragic death into a strategic gain. This is what the author Sriram Chellapilla showed through the story of Priya.
How people with power and money use them to their advantage, influence outcomes, and easily brushes aside any unlawful acts and activities. Everything has been realistically portrayed in the story. In real life, as well, the cause of the victim loses relevance, as the so-called supporters have their agendas.
The author Sriram Chellapilla is knowledgeable, clear-headed, well informed, and observant. It is apparent from the way he has woven the story of Priya around the Telugu state politics, Naxal movements, and Telugu film industry. He didn't mince his words while describing the Hyderabad city.
There was no dearth of surprises and twists in the story. One twist leads to another that makes you wonder what more is stored. I was suspicious about all the characters. They were secretive with agendas and motives. It is a layered story with multiple threads. There were always two sides to the same event and incident giving a wholesome view of the entire scenario.
When I started reading, I felt myself amidst a hurricane. So many characters were introduced one after another with no clear description and all hiding something. So much was happening, nothing was making sense. But as the story settles down, it becomes increasingly interesting and gripping with each turn of the page.
A Useful Death is a perfectly planned and executed plot, with the resemblance to reality further making it unputdownable. It is a must-read crime thriller. I wish to read more books from the pen of the author.