Eight Detectives fell in my lap after being underground for a month, It was then I realised I have ignored my small tight-knit group of readers long enough! Having spent these last 30 days or so digging deep into the theories and academic jargon for a research paper, I had my fill of serious reading and writing for a bit. So my eyes and hands were itching to read something light yet intriguing. Then came Saturday and off I went on my hunt for a juicy paperback! To satisfy my weekend craving for murder mysteries that for once did not end at Agatha Christie and Poirot in particular! My mind wanted more. It wanted another good, solid, foolproof mystery to tease me to alert mode. This tired brain was craving a good mystery. It was getting restless. It needed its regular dose of adrenaline rush!
Continuing my promise to myself, I jumped the gun and picked up another book from the same small corner book shop. I felt proud that I was able to finish my first book of this year in less than the time limit I set for myself. I wandered across the small spaces between the overcrowded book shop and smiled at the warm quiet welcome that the hidden corners were about to offer me in my search for another bestseller. I found the one and my eyes were itching to read this one. The Poirot inside of me was raring to come out and give his verdict about the credibility and finesse of the mystery in my hand! I picked the book and clutched it to my chest as if it would run away if I held it any loose. I paid and smiled my winner’s smile at the old lady beside the counter. She gave me the knowing look and laughed softly, ‘I know that you just found your treasure for today madam. Happy reading!’ With this, she swiped the card and I rushed out towards the tube in urgency to reach home and splurge on my find of the day.
The moment I reached home I threw my clothes like they were burning and clad in my age-old night suit (even though it was just 7:30 and a weekend), I jumped on my bed and snuggled inside my cosy duvet. I wriggled for 5 minutes to find that particularly comfortable spot and position and boy was I ready for this journey into the mind of the mystery. I was ready to find the faults of the author because according to me no one can write a good mystery better than Agatha Cristy! On the contrary, I was wanting so badly to be proven wrong for once. I wanted someone fresh and new to pick and tickle my detective bones for once. I was so ready yet not. Now was the moment of truth. With mysterious juices ready to spill out of the hidden chambers in my brain I opened the first page!
As I dived into the stories one after the other, I realized that this Alex Pavesi’s ‘Eight Detectives’ is indeed an intriguing piece of work. Written as a Mediterranean crime thriller, the book overall revolves around 7 individual murder mysteries. However, they are tied to one elephant murder mystery that comes as a pleasant surprise for its readers. The story is spun in a way of explores human emotions and relations that creates their loopholes, strengthening the mystery of the book further. The author picks the readers’ brains including mine when he creates the character of Grant McAllister, a professor of mathematics who wrote a mystery book in the 1930s. 30 years later, he was while living a secluded life he met an ambitious and clever editor Julia Hart. She had searched him down to republish the book. Grant McAllister while conversing with Julia put forward his own set of rules that according to him all murder mysteries follow. This intrigues the editor and urges her to find those in the written stories. While revisiting these stories with the author, Julia found her disconnects and pondered over her doubts since she found him to be a man with a hidden past that has its mystery revolving around him. While she was determined to unveil it, she realized the ambiguity and disconnect within the stories. Getting sucked into solving these discrepancies, Julia found herself unveiling the biggest mysteries of all that tie all the stories together.
As I closed the book, I heaved a sigh of relief. After a long time, I found my peace in the heaven of mysteries. I was happy that my mind was satiated for now. When I looked at myself in the corner mirror, I realized I was smiling like a Cheshire cat! I felt it is one of the most creatively written mysteries I read recently. I wanted to clap in appreciation that it ended so away from my continuing thought flow. I was still marvelling at the constant shift of plots along with my attention with every page turn that I made. It was challenging for my inside detective to keep to its original deduction while trying to read emotions and thoughts between the written words. The thriller potion throughout was so intense that I marvel at the involvement of the author’s originality in the concept.
The potency of ‘Eight Detectives’ is high during the whole read. I was pleasantly surprised, originally intrigued, and happily satisfied with my accidental choice of random reading. Even though these stories may have their weaknesses in lack of relevant challenges for the central characters in them. Despite Pavesi himself breaking his own thumb rule of form by hiding a very integral part of the information till the end, the style, and his capability to involve the readers in his mysteries are commendable. His power as a writer to be able to suck the readers in and almost succeed in confusing them till they reach the final pages is a powerful tool that cannot be ignored. I will look at the brighter side of the whole reading process.
If this novel can engage the reader till the end and bend or twist its own rules or even rules made by others, then for me it is a success on its own. After all the author is the one who went through his pregnancy period to birth it out for the world to experience a new life! Intelligent, inventive, fun read that has the strength of cleverness on its side. Hope you all give it a try and find your favourite mystery ahead! I can’t wait to read many more new and different detective works. My brain is game for however many may come, be six, seven or eight detectives or even one!