Mathematics & Murder!
Whoa! What a combination!
To the common mortals, Mathematics is THE Murderer. Who (except those thick-spectacled geeks) is not afraid of Mathematics in their school days?
But to speak the truth, Mathematics is THE Truth itself. Nothing in this Universe is beyond the clutches of Mathematics. It is the Language of God (or Nature, if you are an atheist) through which man can communicate with the Nature. But to relate Mathematics with a series of murders is definitely an entirely new concept, even in the new genre of scientific who-dun-it stories. Conundrum, the latest murder-thriller by the eminent author Dr. Aniruddha Bose perfectly deals with this bizarre combination of Mathematics and serial murders.
A serial murderer is on the prowl in the urban set-up of the crowded megapolis of Kolkata, and a number of apparently motiveless murders are taking place in the city, and to cap it all, there is another bizarre mystery – the murderer is informing every murder in advance to a brilliant Professor of Statistics working in the world famous Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. The victims, both men and women, are from different strata of the society without any apparent connection to each other. Police is at a loss as there is a total lack of motives and patterns in the murders, especially the types of murder-weapons which are as bizarre as they are unique, but the most baffling mystery is why the professor is being dragged into the scene.
I can’t divulge the secret here, though I’m tempted enough, but a murder mystery should remain as such, to be explored and discovered by the readers. All I can say here is that this is a completely new type of who-dun-it story, and the final twist with the introduction of a famous Mathematical sequence as the key to the understanding of the mystery of the serial killings is a novel concept on the part of the author, a real life Plastic & Cosmetic Surgeon who has come up with new ideas in his novels so far.
I’d like to conclude this short introduction with one final word - though this novel deals with higher Mathematics and Chemistry, yet there is nothing to be afraid of regarding the scientific parts, especially the Mathematics, as it is explained in such a way that even the most Mathematics-phobic person like me can understand clearly every scientific theory presented quite easily.
I sincerely hope for a wide circulation of Conundrum, not only for its brain teasing approach, but also for its novelty in merging mystery with Mathematics with a dose of human psychology as well.
5th August 2018 Dr. Asis Kumar Chatterjee