Book Review: The RajKhowa Murders, A case that shocked India

Author: Nilutpal Gohain

 

The riveting narrative is based on a factual account of gruesome murders in the same family that took place in the 1970s.

The story begins with two young men who get posted in Dhubri, and are allotted a bungalow with its own mystic allure. However, there are sporadic whispers around them about the stories behind the bungalow and its not-so-pleasant history. Finally, they meet a man who tells them what transpired in that place around three decades ago.

Two narratives run parallel. The first is about Upen Rajkhowa a District judge nearing retirement who joins Dhubri court as his last posting. A year later he along with his family consisting of his wife and three daughters, goes missing.

The second narrative is about Upen’s Brother-in-law Barada Sharma a high-ranking police officer, who visits the family but is alarmed at their disappearance. He begins his subtle investigation regarding the same.

Prima facie the story belongs to the Judge and his family which is shown as a happy one with everything one can have to live a contented life. However, things aren’t as they appear. The girls despite a strict upbringing in an archaic household of the 70s without social media influence, go astray to the utmost disappointment of the parents. His wife too is often dousing him with complaints about their daughters’ indiscretions like having an affair with a lower caste man or an unemployed man. Gradually the layers are peeled off revealing the turmoil the judge has been facing for a long time.

Parallelly when Sharma congregates a task force to investigate the mysterious disappearance of the Rajkhowa family, he is stunned to find out the truth and the pieces of evidence that lead to the ultimate climax.

So what did happen? Did the family really disappear? or was there something more scandalously sinister hidden behind the facade of goodwill and honor?

The book is a combination of genres. Suspense, mystery, and horror as well. Brilliantly penned and hooks the reader from the first word to the last.

 

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