Review Pen: Tied To Deceit by Neena H Brar

Tied to deceit by Neena H Brar

Author– Neena H Brar

Book– Tied To Deceit

Previous Works–  Debut Novel

Publishers– Penguide Publishers

Number of Pages–  310

Format– Ebook


“A remarkable whodunit that’s as sharp as it is concise.” – Kirkus Reviews

On a drizzly August morning, the inhabitants of the hill town of Sanover, Himachal Pradesh, wake up to the shocking news of the murder of the exquisite, secretive, malicious, and thoroughly immoral Devika Singh.

As Superintendent of Police Vishwanath Sharma begins to sift through the hidden secrets of Devika Singh’s life, it becomes evident that everyone who knew her seems to have a clear-cut motive for killing her.

Faced with the investigation of a crime that appears to have as many suspects as there are motives, Vishwanath Sharma probes the sinister web spun around a tangle of lies and deception.


Tied to deceit by Neena H Brar, is an Indian thriller, releasing in August. The story revolves around the death of a hospital front desk employee, and as the police investigates the victim, they come to know about her muddy past.

A beautiful woman hated by almost everyone she comes across, with everyone related to her past having a motive to be responsible for her death, had puzzled the police. They decide to learn about Devika, and the entire hospital staff. Almost everyone related to the victim has something to hide, and victim had woven a web of lies around everyone, in order to get her intentions fulfilled.

I read Tied To Deceit, an ebook of 310 pages, in two days, thus smashing my personal record of reading any ebook of that length in that amount of time. The book was highly engaging, it was so good, that I changed from a kindle, to a mobile phone and lastly to a laptop in order to get comfortable and read it.

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The book is set in the mid 1900s, and apart from what it does to the story, the events throw light on all those social customs of that time, which prevented women from doing anything they wished to do, in order to frame a better future from themselves.

It starts with Mrs. Bhardwaj, a rather intelligent choice of character to start the story with, the story progresses to tell us about the Bhardwaj household and their vast wealth, along with Mr.Bhardwaj’s illicit escapades with the female staff. The book is divided into three parts, book one, book two and book three, and all of them maintain the same kind of stream in order to keep the reader hooked. Every chapter starts with a quote from some famous writer, which gives a hint about what the chapter holds for the reader.

The book has an inconvenient set of characters, and being set in the mid 1900s, brings the characters to life. The character Devika, who also happens to be the victim, was a malicious woman, she had done the worst of things to prove to be heartless, as a woman, and she did not seem to be stopping without some more vice.

One of the best things about the book, was its narrative. There was an impressive description of the murder investigation, especially when the pathologist was explaining it to the inspector, showing the immense  research, that has gone while writing the book, to make it real.

The author is very expressive with her words, she has taken care of the little things that made things look more natural, for example, Swarnalata Devi’s explanations on how she does not like eavesdropping, but the walls are thin so she couldn’t help it. Her repeating it from time to time, made the scene seem rather natural, because that’s usually how gossiping ladies of the neighborhood try to make themselves look innocent as resourceful. She had managed to keep the air of suspense and suspiciousness, till the very end of the book.


The plot was unpredictable, and by some way, if you are able to make a wild guess about the murderer, you would never be able to trace the chain of events that led to the murder.

This book has turned out to be one of my best reads of 2018, as it has a perfect balance of everything. The cover is extremely attractive, and I guess its something about Devika on the cover. The title is a good choice, though I would have loved some direct indication about it , in the book. The blurb is short, but balanced, to give a glance of what’s in the book. Neena H Brar’s presentation, and writing skills make it hard to believe that its her debut book.


Cover- 4.5 stars

Title- 4 stars

Blurb- 4 stars

Plot- 4.5 star

Writing and Presentation- 4 star

Overall- 4.2 stars out of 5

Call it the plight of an impatient reader, but despite a really good narrative, there were some places when I felt that the author got carried away, and there were conversations that weren’t much necessary for the plot.

Reviewed by- Banaja Prakashini

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About Neena H Brar-

Neena H. Brar lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband, two children, a highly energetic German Shepherd, and a lifetime collection of her favorite books. A hermit at heart, she’s a permissive mother, a reluctant housekeeper, a superb cook, and a hard-core reader. Tied to Deceit is her debut novel.


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