Title: Manjaveyil Maranangal(Deaths in Yellow lights)
Author: Benyamin(Benny Daniel)
Originally published in Malayalam(2011)
Publisher: D.C. Books
Homeshop 18,DC Books
First Things first.I am not a great fan of Benyamin.Though I loved ‘Aadujeevitham’( Kerala Sahitya Academy Award 2009),his ‘Akkaporinte Irupathu Nasrani Varshangal’ made me mad.So I was a bit sceptical when I picked up his latest best seller,’Manjaveyil Maranangal’.The book turned out to be a half baked thriller and left me terribly disappointed.Manjaveyil Maranangal starts off (well) as a murder mystery,tries to be a historical fiction in the middle and ends up being none as it fizzles out with it’s weak/pathetic climax.
Set In the small island of Diego Garcia,the book is basically the story of Christie Anthraper;the youngest descendant of the Anthraper clan.One day he witnesses a murder(in broad day light) only to realise later that the guy who got killed was none other than Senthil,his old school mate.Pretty soon he finds out that the authorities are trying to cover up the murder and trying to pass it off as a natural death.Meanwhile Christie’s girl friend also dies in an accident and he decides to go to her hometown(Udayamperoor) and meet her mourning parents. But little did he know what was in store for him!
What happened to Christie Anthraper?Who was Senthil and why was he killed?Why were the authorities trying to pass it off as a death due to ‘Cardiac arrest’?Was Mervin’s death really an accident?The book tries to find out answers for all this but believe me,you are not going to get solutions for most of these even after you have finished reading it.Agreed,the book is racy,has an interesting premise and gives a vivid description of life at Diego Garcia.But what is the point in wasting your time in a Crime thriller which leaves you with half a dozen un-answered questions in the end?
Rating-I am giving 2.25/5 for this half baked thriller.The climax disappoints big time!
PS: In a pre-climactic scene Christies’ dad is arrested and their house raided for planning a coup.But in the epilogue Anthraper family is seen reviving their plantation business in Etiopia.From where did the (already bankrupt) family get the funds for it,Mr Benyamin?
PSPS: The book reminded me of T.D Ramakrishnan’s ‘FrancisItty Cora’ at times.The ‘Mariyam Seva’,’Raniyayi Vazhikkal’ scenes’ had a ‘korakku kodukkal’(Francis Itty Cora) hangover to it.
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