Author: Anirban Basu
Publisher: Rupa Publications
A business magnate - Banibrata Mazumdar greatly perturbed on the receipt of an e-mail, seeks the advice of Aki Ray- a detective by passion and an independent software consultant by profession. Aki advises him to lie low. The very next day, Mr. Mazumdar is kidnapped. Aki rushes to the spot, trying to solve the crime wrenching the truth from the particular incidents. Will Aki be able to solve the mystery behind the email? Will he be able to place the jigsaw puzzle of the kidnapping piece by piece?
Tauted to be a thriller, a race against time...it is written with such a heavy hand that reader with a non-technical background may just need a jargon side-book to decipher the language. The basic premise is based on such a small thread of phishing, you want to mock at the intentions of the author. It has a clumsy screenplay which is so simplistic, you don't feel any interest by the time mystery actually unfolds because you have guessed it well in advance. The dialogues are clunky and the twists and turns are superficial to say the least.
Based in Kolkata, the plot is formulaic, tried and tested... seen in numerous movies and plays. It has absolutely nothing to offer new and there in lies it's biggest problem. The main protagonist Aki is too contrived and over the top, placing too much self importance with himself...something which could have been deviated in bringing better twists and tales in the story. There is one particular good chapter in which we discover the whole agenda behind the phishing e-mail, but that's about it. Rest details are just too far fetched and bores you completely with the technical mumbo-jumbo. Considering it is just 146 pages long, it still seriously tests your patience.
I am going for 1/5 for Anirban basu's The Mysterious e-mail. It's a half baked predictable mystery book, read it if you have 200 bucks to waste. For a more satisfying reading experience, i suggest you better get back to Robin Cook's Medical thrillers or John Grashim's Legal thrillers. It is indeed a mystery how such a book can be published in the first place.