The Girl in Room 105: Book Review

The Girl in Room 105


The Girl in Room 105


Chetan Bhagat

Release date:




No. of pages:





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'The Girl in Room 105' is a 2018 crime investigation book by Chetan Bhagat. Didn't expect that, did you?

Zara Lone, a PhD IIT Delhi student is murdered in her hostel room, 105; and Keshav Rajpurohit, her sulking ex-boyfriend finds her dead in her bed. The story progresses as Keshav, along with Saurabh Maheshwari, his friend and colleague sets out to find her murderer. Soon, we find both of them in the centre-stage of the story.

Chetan takes a new genre to play around here: crime. And as an avid reader of his books, he plays a beautiful job at it. Bhagat, especailly known for his romantic stories, takes an entirely different turn as he excludes all love parts of his new story and focuses on crime investigation, the main subject of the story. And you know what, I am quite surprised at that.

The plot Chetan hatched here was quite wonderful, to say the least. The climax is especailly good, and the actual killer was least anticipated by readers. The story periodically suspects each person, from Zara's father to her brother to terrorists to her family friend. And until the final parts of the movie, I was not sure who it was. During the final parts of the movie, where many secrets are uncovered, I, and I am sure many of you will be able to guess who that is. The author kind of left that big clue there for us to find out.

The story takes place in 4 places, Delhi, Rajasthan, Hyderabad and Srinagar. And the Srinagar part, though playing a short role, is really elaborated. The author has spent time in explaining the serenity and beauty of the place as well as the rebellious acts in the city and the natives' mindset on the situation. This is probably one of the places where we can relate to the real-life.

The book covers about the Kashmir situation; the terrorist activities, the peace rallies, the militant work and the native views towards their country and the Army.

What I liked about the story:

  1. The plot is wonderful and masterfully created, while leaving about no clues for the reader to determine the climax.
  2. Captures the entirelty of the city of Srinagar, including both its riches and calamities
  3. No clickbait, it's ACTUALLY not a love story(hey, I actually love them, just saying about this one)
  4. I liked the ending a lot.

What I don't like about the book:

  1. The book starts with the usual drama, IIT graduate, no good job, sulking upon girlfriend. Why don't you try a different way, Chetan?
  2. The author actually left a major clue for people to find out the killer just before the climax (spoiler alert: Reading about the affair between Faiz and Zara, anyone could have guessed who it could have been). I would have liked it more if the author finally brought it out. But hey, that's how we accused Faiz in the first place.
  3. Some introductory parts like how Zara got into IIT or how Raghu met Zara could have been added earlier in the story instead of placing them in different parts in the story.
  4. How Keshav or Raghu started loving Zara is not made clear. I think the author is trying to cut the romance out, but hey, I would have loved it if that bit of information was given. Keshav meets Zara at a debate, some time later, they are dating; and Raghu and Zara meet at a Literature Fest and later Zara starts dating him. I don't find that missing link or reference. And initially, what made Zara love them in the first place?

Overall, I would say this book is a thriller. I was quite happy when I was one of the first to buy the book at the SIBF-2018, and I think it's worth it to read a unique version of Chetan's take on a new genre. Still uses swears, still mentions sex, still sulking ex-boyfriend and 'moved-on' ex-girlfriend, and still IIT graduate without a proper job; but still a good one, and still an enjoyable one. The thing with CB's books are, you hate them a lot, but you still love them. If you are a mature person who can take racism(Raghu addressing himself) and views(Kashmir), you will quite enjoy this book.