All that Glitters
Zahra Rizvi
CLUB YOU TO DEATH by Anuja Chauhan HarperCollins India, 2021, 432 pp., 399.00
December 2021, volume 45, No 12

Anuja Chauhan’s Club You to Death is set around a seemingly simple murder that takes place in the Delhi Turf Club, a space for a certain set of people with privileges who believe that they are the glamourous last standing piece that will protect Delhi from falling at the hands of what they term to be the ‘ills of modernity’. The Club has an intricate system of rules set in an even more intricately mapped area that is populated by members who subscribe to the power and luxury that comes along with having a membership card. As the novel progresses, however, one realizes that the mapping of the Club is more about cordoning off people into clean-cut divisions of members and non-members and less about the actual place which the Club inhabits.

There is trouble brewing from the first instance when the reader is invited to the Club. There are beautiful, competent women, suspicious husbands, silent almost invisible but watchful staff, bored, adventurous youngsters, and even the odd rebel who just wants to escape from the suffocating time-honoured, family-bound club membership. Regardless, the club members all love rumour and gossip as much as they love keeping their own secrets close to themselves, but people notice. And there are grave consequences. On a typical morning, when the ladies find themselves walking to the Zumba class, they find, to their great astonishment, that their handsome trainer is dead, crushed by the very gym equipment which gave him access to the otherwise off-limits Club.

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