Death of the District Magistrate by Nachi is a murder mystery that happens somewhere in Tamil Nadu. The novel starts as a straightforward suicide case, but the emergence of new clues gives the suicide a new angle and thereby revealing many skeletons in the closet.
Murder mysteries, when written in a format with fixed formulas, are less deceptive and easily discernable. After reading scores of murder mysteries, even readers develop skill and horns hunch to solve riddles even before they properly unravel.
In the case of Death of District Magistrate, I was so sure about the culprit that even the clever diversions created by the author didn’t persuade me to doubt my hunch. My curiosity to know how murder unfolds kept me going.
None of the characters impressed me much, nor did the culprit or the victim arouse any emotions. I liked Arjun, the investigator, and his team and the tuning between them. The investigation mainly followed the method of interviewing the family members.
The story moves at a medium pace. As the investigation progresses, many shocking pieces of information tumble out. Arjun and his team were smart to get the truth out. But after a while, the same revelation goes round and round, making it a dull read.
Overall Death of a District Magistrate was an above average read. I enjoyed the leg pulling and serious work conversation between Arjun and his team. But more stress on strong potting and a compelling story would have added a wow factor to the mystery.