​BOOK REVIEW OF – The Alphabet Killer


 Paperback: 180 pages

 Publisher: HALF BAKED BEANS; First Edition (2016)

 Language: English

 ISBN-10: 9384315532

 ISBN-13: 978-9384315535


The city of Mumbai goes past, cold, impersonal, self-absorbed. A killer waits in the shadows, anticipating his prey. Mia Santos is a successful author, feminist and Chief Editor of the Mumbai chapter an international feminist magazine. Someone is raping and killing the women she works with, one by one, and carving out the initials A.B onto their foreheads. The media gives him the moniker ‘The Alphabet Killer’ Mia’s getting taunted and tormented by someone who claims to be the killer. She’s the only one who knows what the initials mean, and the killer’s end game. The same is suspected by CID Inspector Damien De Silva, who’s investigating the killings. Even as he tries to work with Mia, he starts getting attached to her. What is that horrible past which Mia’s worked so hard to bury? Why is the killer so adamant to unravel this past? Will Mia reciprocate Damien’s feelings? Will they be able to work together and find the killer before he executes his horrifying climax?

The title is very much appropriate and relevant to the plot. Not only because the murderer’s initial is AB but the word has alphabet made the title more interesting and thrilling. The word alphabet has a metaphorical meaning behind its real one. A series of crime continues one after another and alphabet is the perfect word to describe the projection of this scene. This is how space begins, with words only, signs traced on the blank page. To describe space: to name it, to trace it, like those portolano-makers who saturated the coastlines with the names of harbours, the names of capes, the names of inlets, until in the end the land was only separated from the sea by a continuous ribbon of text. Is the aleph that places in Borges from which the entire world is visible simultaneously, anything other than an alphabet?


Though the book looks like a crime thriller from a distant view, it has a tinge of violence along with women empowerment in it. The amalgamation of murder and past along with break up makes the theme more intense and interesting. Each letter of the alphabet is a steadfast loyal soldier in a great army of words, sentences, paragraphs, and stories. One letter falls, and the entire language falters. Sexual abuse also plays the vital plot in the story and we see that Mia Santos, a female character acts as a protagonist.

“Dialogues must appear as natural as if coming from effortless writing. It must not sweat. Your beloved readers must not sweat. But here am I, literally sweating, because my characters are literally talking dirty in a steamy sweaty and bloody scene.” Believe me, the conversation and the dialogues portrayed in the story gave me a spine chilling experience.

The characterization is very well and perfectly demonstrated. Each and every one played their part very well especially in the climax scenes.

The plot gives us a strong feeling about sexual abuses and harassments which women faces. It is not a single crime when a child is photographed while sexually assaulted (raped.) It is a life time crime that should have life time punishments attached to it. If the surviving child is, more often than not, going to suffer for life for the crime(s) committed against them, shouldn’t the paedophiles suffer just as long? If it often takes decades for survivors to come to terms with exactly how much damage was caused to them, why are there time limits for prosecution?

Read this wonderful mind blowing thriller by Ms.Sharma which brings out a beautiful message apart from the main thrilling mystery at

But why does it matter what we call it, as long as there is concerted action to respond to and prevent such crimes? It matters because if we really want to fix something that is broken, if we want to heal these fractures in our society, then we need to understand their causes. If we do not, then we will forever continue to place giant sticking plasters over the wounds left by this violence, trying to bandage over losses that can never be replaced. As long as this violence continues, it is obviously the case that we do have to address the symptoms, but my argument is that we must also address the causes if we want a long-term reduction or even, perhaps, the eventual eradication of male violence against women

Self respect by definition is a confidence and pride in knowing that your behaviour is both honourable and dignified. When you harass or vilify someone, you not only disrespect them, but yourself also. Street harassment, sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based violence and racism, are all acts committed by a person who in fact has no self respect.  -Respect yourself by respecting others.


Drawbacks (believe me, the negative points are negligible if you compare to the positive aspects)

The climax could have been a bit better.

The beautiful cover and the blurb.

The women empowerment and the upholding of the women rights brought about by the story.


Overall I would like to rate the book 42 on a scale of 50.

4 stars out of 5

Originality of the plot and sub plots- 9/10

Net emotions in the story- 8/10

Usage of words and phrases-8/10

The title, cover and the illustration-8/10

The net impact on the readers- 9/10

Overall, it’s worth reading.

 After all…

This journey will definitely make you thrill(


KUDOS TO PRACHI SHARMA- It was really a beautiful plot.

Reviewed by-

Sayan Basak


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s