Mystery, Thriller+Suspense

Book Review: Unlawful Justice by Vish Dhamija

Vish Dhamija, author of crime fiction and legal drama, is out with his sixth novel titled “Unlawful Justice”. A tale that highlights and puts together the nitty-gritty of the Indian judicial system, what happens inside the court and outside the courtroom, lives of the rich and powerful and the effects these can have on someone in the lower strata of society.

Story in brief

Baby is the 16 year old daughter of Gayathri- the domestic help in the Divan household. She is brutally raped and left to bleed by Maheep- the son of a powerful and influential client of Vansh Divan. A criminal lawyer, Vansh suddenly finds himself in a tough situation, torn between the client’s pressure to withdraw the case, and his wife Preeti and daughter’s anger to seek vengeance on the culprit. All hell breaks loose when the accused Maheep is brutally murdered. Steps in Akash Hingorani, the top criminal lawyer and best friend to Vansh and Preeti, to unravel the mystery and also ensure justice is delivered to Gayathri. What ensues is a series of investigations, courtroom sessions and trials.

Legal thrillers aren’t a very common genre amongst Indian authors. The prime reason for this could be the in-depth research such books require, the understanding and working of the judicial process and to be able to maintain the suspense element throughout. Indeed, it is no easy job. With this regard, I must give it to Vish Dhamija, for the factual research on the working of the judicial system. I found the story, its construction and the characters to be fine and realistic in nature.

The book opens well and moves through predictable sub-plots. The blurb and preview of the book was suggestive of it being an exciting nail-biting thriller. However, the book didn’t really work out to be one for me. The narration was mediocre-not good not bad. The dialogues failed to incorporate any thrill factor and also capture my attention. I found myself, skipping through pages quite often. There were moments towards the middle of the book, that were exciting enough, but these moments would fizzle out soon in the pages that followed. The suspense fell flat, and guessing who the killer was, was a child’s play. I didn’t really find myself sitting on the edge of the seat reading the book. Unlawful Justice is about influential people, lawyers, bad guys, corruption, and investigation, moving at a slow pace.

Verdict: Average read. Pick it up, if you just want to read a decent story, sans any thrills.

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  • Sulekha

    Ramya, good ideas and plots fail to make an impression if they are not presented well.Your review lets us know what to expect in the book. Maybe he can avoid the same mistakes in his next book. The story sounds promising; I love courtroom dramas. Crime fiction needs to be a nailbiting read. I watched the movie, Ittefaq a couple of days back and loved its climax.

  • Rajlakshmi

    I actually smiled at the ending line. Love reading honest reviews that makes sure readers know what to expect. The storyline does sound interesting though

  • writershilpa

    Quite an honest review that, Ramya! I liked it .
    Crime stories need to be fast paced, without too many long-drawn dialogues (if not in the courtroom) and should be able to keep the reader glued to the book. You are right – we may not find this genre a lot in contemporary Indian literature because of all the research involved. I was quite intrigued by the story when I began, but my interest fizzled out when I reached the end of your review!

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