Banquet on the Dead is fantastically thought and written thriller which will keep you engrossed in the story all the time. It was certainly a joy to read the book. Hamid Pasha, the lead detective, in the novel will give you the rusty feeling. The one that I had experienced earlier. I kept thinking about this experience that I had previously and was having while reading the novel when my mind left for the past days. If you know there was one detective series from Doordarshan days – Byomkesh Bakshi – the famous Bengali character created by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyaya. Those were the days! Coming back to Banquet on the Dead now, this rusty feeling made the story more enjoyable. The characters were carefully sketched which though “bear no resemblance to any person living or dead” but still you will be able to relate to all of them. The characters actually exist in the real world.
Plot is fantastic and shows the confidence shown by Sharath Komarraju in his writing. Here I would like to mention that this is his second novel (I have not read the first one though). Till the end you keep guessing who can be the killer and until and unless Hamid Pasha discloses it at the end, there is no way that you can guess the correct answer (Yes! I know you can by skimming through the pages from the back. But isn’t it cheating?).
There were places where I felt that the book could have been better proof-read but like Ashwin Sanghi’s The Krishna Key, these can be ignored.
I have just one last thing to say: “Grab the book and keep guessing.”
My rating: 4/5.
P.S.: I received this book from the author/publisher in return of a review.