Mystery,  Review

Tied to Deceit by Neena H. Brar


Publication Date: August 4th 2018

Read Date: August 16th 2018

Pages: 328

Genre: Murder Mystery / Thriller

Stars: 4/5

4 star

Goodreads blurb_edited

On a drizzly August morning, the inhabitants of the hill town of Sanover, Himachal Pradesh, wake up to the shocking news of the murder of the exquisite, secretive, malicious, and thoroughly immoral Devika Singh.

As Superintendent of Police Vishwanath Sharma begins to sift through the hidden secrets of Devika Singh’s life, it becomes evident that everyone who knew her seems to have a clear-cut motive for killing her.

Faced with the investigation of a crime that appears to have as many suspects as there are motives, Vishwanath Sharma probes the sinister web spun around a tangle of lies and deception.

Praise for Tied to Deceit:
“A remarkable whodunit that’s as sharp as it is concise. 
Brar enhances her taut murder mystery with an engaging setting that effectively incorporates the local culture. The smart, believable denouement will have readers looking forward to Brar’s next endeavor.”
-Kirkus Reviews
“A literary mystery saga that includes far more depth and psychological and cultural insights than your typical murder mystery’s scenario.”
-Midwest Book Review


Tied to Deceit was a murder mystery about fraud, deception, immorality, manipulation, betrayal, greed, and self-obsession. Money and beauty are human’s worst enemy and this book said it in lot of different ways in this book.


Devika was a hateful character who was trouble for everyone in the book before and after her murder. I not the one who hold one sided blame so early in the book about any character but in her case I was ready to do that. She was conceited, sadistic, vile, and emotionless woman. Goodness, she was the worst of all. I started to think whether to call her victim or villain!! The plot and all other characters was so much wrapped around her that it almost felt like she was main character of the book.

There were only few likable characters one of them was, Vishwanath sharma- Superintendent of police who handle the case of Devika’s murder. I liked his introverted appearance and his thought process. All the suspects told their own life stories that played huge role in the book. They had their flaws and I liked the way author displayed them.

What I liked

Book was set in set 1970s written in third person narration with through police procedural and history of characters that made the plot engaging. I thought I might not like Hindi words from the reviews I read but soon enough I realized I didn’t mind them as the plot was flawlessly written.

It started with picturesque narration of Bhardwaj property and Gayatri’s anger over her husband’s unfaithful nature and rash decision of catching him red handed which led one thing to another and built a melodramatic juicy murder mystery. Bhardwaj family issues and drama added more spices to it. Within few pages book turned very interesting.

Book was divided in three parts. First part dealt with affair, murder and suspects. Their life story and how it tangled suspects in the case and it became cause of the murder. Each chapter ended with interesting turns that made me to read text one with more curiosity. End of the first part was huge twist that turned the game in different direction. It opened another mystery within mystery.

In second part, the case got more complicated with no solid proofs against suspects and all were clever and evasive. Police procedures were nicely written putting all the theories piece by piece. This part felt bit dragged because of all digging into history of Devika and in doing so some there was delay in getting to the other facts related to case. I was like, ‘why they haven’t broached that subject yet! When they are going to look at this point’. It was slow but not boring. As the story progressed victim’s and suspects’ true mask was revealed cleverly by writer.

Could I guess who the killer was by end of the second part? Yes, I had my guess which was half correct. Author had some good cards in hand that surprised me and I loved them. Third part was climax with few twists and turns which worked well. Timelines procedures, thoughts of police and suspects and their relatives put the pieces of puzzle into a thrilling climax and end. It was nicely ended.

why not 5 stars

Too many characters and too much details on character, place and other things which was not required. It was thrilling but didn’t keep me on the edge because of detailed character histories which gave the book a little contemporary effect.


Overall, it was a very good debut novel with thrilling, suspenseful, juicy murder mystery that had Bollywood style effect and I quite enjoyed it. I recommend this book to mystery lovers.


Author: Neena H. Brar

Buy Link:

*** Note: I received e-copy of this book as part of blogtour, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author and  Digital Reads Blogtours. ***

What do you think about the book and my review?
Do you like to read murder mysteries with Indian setting?
Have you read something similar to this before?

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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

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