Why I wrote ‘An Invitation To Death’

Once I decided the time had come to get cracking on my first book, the decision to write on crime was a no-brainer. Because crime has always fascinated me (I would dearly like to eliminate a few people, hehe). And I gravitated toward fiction because I needed my characters to be interesting people. People I would want to hang out with for a drink, even at the risk of being stabbed on the way to the loo. Real-llfe crime stories I have read about in India (and covered as a journalist) have left me uninterested in the protagonists; hard-core criminals, mind-effed for sure, but essentially boring, depressing people.

While pondering on the subject, the thought of writing on a serial killer was alluring. Mainly because there hasn’t been a noteworthy story written on the subject in this country. Perhaps because most of the serial killers in post-independent India have come from the lower strata of the society, there hasn’t really been a suave, handsome, intelligent white collared serial murderer (aside from Charles Sobhraj, who is half-Indian, from another era, and has been dealt with to death across the world). I suppose this might have been a dampener for writers.

This got me thinking. What if there WAS one such in today’s India. What would he look like, how would he behave, what would be his background, what would he do for a living, indeed, what would be his personality and motivations. And soon Darius Irani was born. A dark, mysterious, edgy but immensely interesting and charming character. Someone you want to know more about, someone who attracts you. Someone who invites you to your death, and you gladly accept it.

As novelist Chelsea Cain says, ‘Ugly people kill people all the time. But when pretty people did, it got attention.’ And Darius Irani will get your attention all right. He will stay with you long after the last page is done. That’s a promise. (I can hear him sniggering. Loudly.)


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