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Audio Drama Review


Six Suspects


Author: Vikas Swarup
Starring: Rajit Kapur, Zafar Karachiwala, Radhika Mital, Anand Tiwari, Shernaz Patel and Gary Richardson
BBC Audio
RRP: £12.99
ISBN: 978 1 408 42731 6
Available 21 January 2010

Vicky Rai, notorious son of a prominent Indian politician, shoots dead a waitress at a trendy Delhi restaurant. Thanks to his mother pulling a few strings, he gets off scot-free. At a lavish society party to celebrate his acquittal he is himself murdered. Who did it? The Bollywood actress with a guilty secret; the American who came to India to marry his mail-order bride; the mobile-phone thief with big dreams; the tribesman on a quest to recover a stolen relic; or Vicky Rai's mother, a corrupt politician who will do anything to cling to power...? The police investigation gets nowhere and the murder of Vicky Rai promises to be yet another unsolved mystery in a country full of unsolved crimes. That is until India's leading investigative journalist, Arun Advani, steps in to tell the world the shocking truth. It's a story that takes us on an extraordinary journey into the heart of modern day India...

Six Suspects is based on Vikas Swarup's novel of the same title. Swarup is more famous for being the author of Q&A, which was adapted for the big screen as Slumdog Millionaire.

Six Suspects is split into two acts. Act one follows five individuals of very different backgrounds who are not aware of each other, but their lives are linked. The second act follows a murder investigation where all five of these characters come under suspicion of carrying out the crime.

The production, as an audio recording, is faultless. It's a credit to producer/director John Dryden that every single cast member turns in a believable performance. There are even examples of background acting that raise the bar when it comes to performance levels (the director and general onset ambiance of Shabnam Saxena's latest shampoo advertisement and the grief of Ruby Gill's family when Vicky Ral is acquitted are just two examples).

The biggest issue I had with this as a story is that once you know that this is a murder investigation, the title of the piece sort of gives away the fact that there is another potential suspect. This is also reinforced by the story's narrator (investigative reporter Arun Advani) who points out that there is another suspect we don't yet know about. And, knowing that it becomes pretty obvious who the actual murderer is.

While the conclusion is a little easy to figure out, that doesn't take away from the fact that this is an engaging and entertaining production.


Darren Rea

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