Living Hell by Vivaan Shah - A Perfect Read for Crime Thriller Fans!
Living Hell book by Vivaan Shah lying on a paper like scalf - Book Photography | Book Review

A perfect 5 star read for a fan of Crime Thrillers!

Book Review of
Living Hell by Vivaan Shah

It’s very rare that you get a good ‘whodunit book’, which has everything a good crime thriller should have – damsel in distress and bent cops and hoodlums with guns and confusion that reins chaos in the mind of the readers, and a perfect murder to keep you guessing till the very end of the book.

Opening Lines: The exact time on the wall clock hanging over the kitchen mantelpiece in flat no. 502 was 2.31 p.m.

Page Counts: 256 pages

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: January 28th, 2019

Influenced by Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Jim Thompson, Agatha Christie, and the likes, Vivaan Shah’s ‘Living Hell’ is a noir murder mystery, it explores the dark underbelly of Mumbai.

It all begins when the Landlord blackmails the protagonist Nadeem Chipkali to extort money from one of his tenants Makhija.

The moment Nadeem Chipkali enters the flat of Makhija, life turns upside down for him. To his horror, he hadn’t expected to confront a dead body in Makhija’s house. A life that is already is on the edge from running and hiding from a Mumbai underworld freak.

To survive, all Nadeem Chipkali has is his remarkable dark humor and Sherlock’s focus for details.

Will Nadeem survive from poisonous muck he has landed into?


What do I think of the story?

Despite being Actor turned author Vivaan Shah’s debut noir murder mystery novel, Living Hell is sharply written. The story is tightly constructed, and one can see the author’s love for the details in the book.

Though the beginning is a bit slow, and it’s bound to be as the story demands the nitty-gritty of the protagonist Nadeem’s life. But once the readers come to know the ‘The Nadeem Chipkali’, the story catches pace and takes its readers on a thrilling ride to unravel the carefully built layers of mysteries surrounding the death.

Living Hell had quite a few twists, some were very unexpected. By the time I was more than halfway through, I couldn’t put it down and had no idea who the real culprit was and how the book will end.

Shah’s narratives pull its readers into the very core of the story, and the crispness of his vivid and perfect language shows that he is an excellent storyteller, an ability he demonstrates without any hiccups throughout the book.


About the characters!

Each character is so carefully carved – to their names, to their eccentric personality, and who leaves their imprints on your mind.

Somehow the motley collection of characters reminded me of my favorite 1983 movie ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’. Maybe because each character dazzles and baffles you.


Do I recommend this book?

Of course! The story of Living Hell is so potent that it will force you to read word by word till the very last page. A perfect 5 star read for a fan of Crime Thrillers.

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Living Hell by Vivaan Shah - Book Cover

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