Grave Intentions: Harith Athreya | RV Raman | Book Review

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Book review of Grave Intentions: Harith Athreya by RV Raman

Grave Intentions: Harith Athreya

Rekha Bhagtani
Author: RV Raman


You know a great suspense thriller when you see one. By this, I mean that many a time the blurb is the place where I am like-ok, this got me big! With a great plot, amazingly crafted characters, a smashing story and most importantly a chilling backdrop, Grave Intentions by R V Raman ticks the right boxes to be your next perfect pick for a cosy, suspenseful read this monsoon.

So, tell me, guys, do you like reading murder mystery novels? I mean, with God having finally bestowed his kind blessings in the form of rain (late, albeit well enough in most parts of the country, huh!), I am like one who needs to read the best possible murder mysteries! Uff, nothing beats a cuppa of hot good ol’ chocolate, a favourite writer like R V Raman, raining steadily outside, the gloomy grey skies, and my favourite cosy corner. Life can’t be better than this, sigh…

So, one more QOTD for you guys today? Tell me, what is it that you think makes up for some important key elements in a great murder mystery, my lovelies? Umm, let me see, local folklore, a great paranormal/supernatural perspective to it, thrilling characters, a closer to ordinary set-up, and yet that tantalizingly chilling kind of vintage that makes it worthwhile to read and dunk in this genre.

Hmm, so now that we are through the basic key pointers, let me tell you guys which latest read of mine compelled me to list these down. When you get all of these together in the best possible permutation, it’s reason enough to delve into it right away.  

So, naturally, when I happened to lay my eyes on the next by R V Raman, and that too was a Harith Athreya mystery, I was more than intrigued straightaway. I knew he was that one person who was going to combine all of this and a lot more in one single, inexplicably awesome piece of writing, as he has portrayed in this one.

Harith Athreya, a fictional character who reminds me of some of the best detectives I have had the pleasure of reading about, is not simply your Indian Sherlock Holmes but someone enigmatic enough to leave a distinct impression, totally separate from the mystery he is pursuing. He has been called upon in this particular case by the cops owing to his reputation for solving complex cases in a jiffy. So, naturally, when there is a financial scam as well as an incident with the head of the archaeological department, Harith sets foot on the Naaz Tapu, a place that is famous for being haunted. With the most sought-after elements in place, right from a spooky legend, to fiercely guarded secrets, strange people, and chilling twists, this was one smashing read.

Whether the case has supernatural hues as it appears to have, whether Harith is successful in establishing and unlocking all the ties and cues seamlessly and solving these strange discrepancies that are much more than what meets the eye, well, you’ve gotta grab the book for it.

For me, the first thing that caught my attention was how he captured the beautiful essence of Bundelkhand, making me actually and virtually come face to face with the scenic beauty of it. Not only were his depictions pristine and remarkably clear, they transported you to the place in question, making you feel as if you were alongside Harith and his friend Sharad on the Naaz Tapu, rowing away on that strange Betwa river, daring to peep across. There was MouPriya, Sharad’s 16-year-old daughter, to whom I felt like, Yes, isn’t she just like all of us, intrigued by strange situations?

You know, I have to take a moment here and congratulate R V Raman on the way he has made the “Dramatis personae,” listing it right at the start of the narrative along with a simple yet sufficiently indicative map of the complete area of the archaeological dig along with a detailed map of the Asghar Mahal, making it easy for the readers to picture everything easily.

So, with Harith back in action in this next instalment of the Harith Athreya series, whether he can solve the suspicious thefts happening along the riverside of the archaeological dig or whether he gets embroiled in the myths and superstition that engulf Bundelkhand, and more importantly, whether he can clear those clouds of the myth, well, now that is an enjoyable journey you must not miss.

 Umm, I wouldn’t say this is exactly like Agatha Christie books or typically Sherlock Holmes, but TBH, the setting did remind me of a famous one by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. Mann! The suspense, horror, and level of spookiness in that one were unmatched. And yet, as I sat finishing Grave Intentions by Raman Ji, I realized he has managed to put across an astounding feel through this one, balancing the superstition along with the mystery so brilliantly that it is hard to not sit riveted on the edge of your seat. Oh, I do remember biting away a couple of fingernails during the former, and I was pleasantly surprised that Grave Intentions was an equal competition, giving me the same chilling thrills.

Related: Captivating Imagination and Haunting Descriptions: Why ‘Loop’ is a Must-Read Thriller

All in all, a great mystery, one you ought not to miss, especially if you want to be an ardent Harith Athreya fan (who wouldn’t, I mean, he is like awesome peeps!) and want to delve into some great mystery and suspense.

So, I hope you guys liked my thoughts on this one. Stay tuned with us right here at Booxoul for the best in the fields of entertainment, lifestyle, education, food, fun, finance, fashion, tech, and gadgets, as well as all things bookish.

Adios Amigos!

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