Review: ‘The Girl in the Glass Case’ by Devashish Sardana

“The Girl in the Glass Case” is the second book by author Devashish Sardana. Set in present-day Bhopal, this crime-thriller traces the journey of two serial killers – The Clipper, a veteran, one of the nation’s most notorious for the past few years; The Doll Maker, new on the scene but an elaborate showman (rather show-woman), who hogs all the limelight away from the former.

ASP Simone Singh is hot-headed, impatient, and unlucky. Under her supervisors orders, she is paired with officer Zoya, a trained psychoanalyst and polar opposite of Simone in getting the Doll Maker off the streets of Bhopal. Little do they know that the Clipper, who has been methodical, punctual, and discreet in his crimes, shares their goal. He is jealous at the attention the Doll Maker gets for making dolls out of small kids, and his consistency for over 9 years is ignored by the media.

The plot is gripping, fast-paced, and has adequate twists to be a good story. But the writing style could be a little more mature, especially reducing the amount of “telling” instead of “showing”. Published by Penguin Random House India, I was surprised to find a couple of major editing mistakes (Chapter 14 has a mall worker who discreetly leaves via the emergency exit, do so again after a few paragraphs). Also, being a Software Engineer myself, I cringed at the unrealistic hacking prowess one of the characters possessed.

At 332 pages, I did fight the urge to put the book down a few times when I noticed the above mistakes. But I’m a sucker for crime books, and not abandoning reads midway.

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