The Blogging Affair- Book Review

I spent the last few days reading The Blogging Affair by Amitabh Manu and I don't really think that it was a total waste of time.

According to the author, "It's not really a murder mystery". He was right as I could guess the murderer very early in the book.

So what is the plot? A lady has been found murdered and the paramour is the prime suspect. The suspect is a weird character who is married and thinks from between his legs (now most men do that, don’t they). And then there is the anonymous blogger who confesses to having murdered the lady.

The story moves forward using 3 points of view; the anonymous blogger, the man who is the suspect and the detectives/cops investigating the murder.

I will not dwell deep into the plot as it’s mostly an open and shut case and doesn't try to rise above the obvious. Barring grammatical mistakes and factual errors (since when did the Road Transport Office start having "Marital Status" on driving licenses?), the plot is pretty average.

The characterizations leave a lot to be desired. Apart from the suspect's one-track mind, nothing comes across that would register on one's mind. The anonymous blogger's digressions into religion, homeopathy, and spiritual enlightenment among others were totally lost on me. They did nothing to add or move the story forward or backward (given that the blogs are in reverse chronological order). All I recall are the persistent headaches that the blogger suffered from.

I would say that the only gripping narrative in the entire book is the one based on the cops. There are some unintentional moments of humor but the author at some places went completely overboard with the "word play".

The editing is a classic example of the importance of a good pair of eyes that would pick out the very obvious flaws. I don’t know if Amitabh engaged an editor or not but it is given that all authors need a second opinion, someone to see the obvious and at the extreme, someone to tell them that things need to be fixed. They need to have an editor with credentials and not just their best friend or wife/husband (unless the best friend or wife/husband is an editor).

All said and done, The Blogging Affair was written in right earnest and with all its flaws, the book makes a good read. It could have been a great read.

Disclosure: The author provided me with a review copy.

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