The 'Tandoor Woman' or the 'Tandoor Murder' was undoubtedly one of the most sensational crimes that took the nation by storm in the mid-1990s. Those of you who were born in the late 80 s or the 90 s would definitely remember the news paper reports which gave the sorrid (and quite often pretty much exaggerated) account of the gruesome murder. As a late 80 s kid myself, one of my vivid memories of the nineties pertains to the infamous and much publicized Naina Sahni ('Tandoor') murder case (the other one being the ISRO- espionage/'spy case' including the Maldivian women and the eminent scientists)
In Tandoor Murder, Maxwell Periera gives a detailed account of this 'crime of passion' and also reconstructs the entire chain of events of the same. An upcoming politician (Sushil Kumar) from the ruling party has a secret love-life (marital life) ,suspects his lover (wife) of infidelity, murders her in a fit of rage only to realize later that he has no means to dispose off the corpse.The cunning manipulator that he is, decides to burn it off in the Tandoor of the restaurant that he owns, with the help of his aid, Keshav. The plan goes awry due to the inadvertent interference by a smart, diligent police constable (Kunju) and from then starts Sushil Kumar's run for cover.How the investigation team nabs him and brings him to the books is what the book is all about.The investigation and the trial process over the years is painstackingly written with great deal of detail and the reader almost feels that he is in the middle of the investigation process.
The language is pretty simple and Maxwell Periera hasn't gone overboard with his writing. Though he has touched upon a similar case (the infanous Priyadarshini Mattoo Murder Case) and the double standards of the media in one of the closing chapters, the book more or less focuses solely on the Tandoor Case. The book never becomes a boring read and this work of Non Fiction is undoubtedly one of the better books from India this year.
Verdict: I'm giving the book a 3.5 out of 5.