Who pulled the trigger?

2008-10-01 00:00

The heyday of the whodunnit, the “Queens of Crime” would confine their suspects in a country house, then give them all a motive to do away with the nastiest person there. The victim was duly dispatched, the police plodded in and eventually, through the cleverness of some amateur sleuth, we found that the butler did it. All very formulaic and good clean fun.

Nonetheless, the ending offers its tragedy. It is here that Swarup shows up the society he has drawn for us, with its flaws and potential for chaos. His plotting is clever, and the ending manages to surprise — more than once. I loved Six Suspects from start to finish. Let’s hope Swarup — a career diplomat who is currently stationed in South Africa — continues to write.

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