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Book – Puja Changoiwala 

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Journalist & Author


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About The Front Page Murders:

It takes a fearless mind to harbor such a dark heart, a heart that knows no nobility, no apology..”

Mumbai, April 2012. The gruesome murder of a senior citizen in a wealthy Mumbai neighbourhood leads the city’s Crime Branch to unearth several half-naked, mutilated and dismembered bodies rotting in the ravines of Western Ghats on the outskirts of the city.

A trail of missing suspects, a lethal honey-trap, and unexpected links with Mumbai’s film industry and the underworld, brings the investigators – and the press, ever hungry for breaking news – to Vijay Palande, a cold-blooded killer equipped with the sophistication of Charles Sobhraj, the manipulative genius of Ted Bundy and the cruelty of Jack the Ripper.

In The Front Page Murders, Puja Changoiwala, who covered the incidents as they unfolded, recounts in gripping detail the story behind the sensational case of multiple murders that shocked the country. Startling and intensely sobering by turns, her compelling narrative explores not just the murky depths of a serial killer’s mind but, tellingly, the media’s frenzy for a juicy story, and the insatiable human appetite for horror.

A behind-the-scenes look at the investigation into one of the most sensational criminal cases in India’s recent history – the multiple murders committed by Vijay Palande with his partner Simran Sood – by a young Hindustan Times journalist, who followed the case closely.

  • Written with the pace and suspense of the best crime thrillers.
  • A never-seen-before look into the world of journalists on the crime beat, how police investigations are conducted, and how Indian courts function.
  • Insights into the mind of a serial killer.

Press Reviews:

  • ‘A bone-chilling account of one of India’s most sophisticated serial killers. The author’s writing sensitively depicts the story, which involves a myriad of human emotions. Thoroughly riveting, fresh and flawless.’

The Times of India


  • ‘The author has meticulously transformed her detailed notes from her reporter’s notebook into diary-like entries. Incredible detailing; the book offers great behind-the-scenes on law and order.’

The Hindu


  • ‘The Front Page Murders is a page-turner with a Victorian writing style. The biggest strength of the book lies in the manner in which the author writes, with the flair and flourish of a crime fiction writer – except that all events narrated in the book are true. It’s almost like re-reading an Agatha Christie novel.’

Business Standard


  • ‘One of the year’s best non-fiction titles by an Indian author.’



  • ‘Gritty and fascinating. The book is an honest and gripping account of one of the many cases that made Mumbai what it was—“a seductress, a teacher and an assassin.”’


  • ‘A work of non-fiction that reads much like a racy crime thriller. In addition to the commendable research, the author’s language flows nice and easy.’

The Tribune


  • ‘Taut, tense.’



  • ‘Uncovers the Oshiwara couple from hell : Bombay’s Bonnie and Clyde.’

Mumbai Mirror


  • ‘Gives a peek into the serial killer’s mind.’

The Quint

Readers’ Reviews:

Just three chapters down, you would realize that the writer has penned a potent puzzle that unveils many nasty and murky scenes in an enthralling crime manuscript. The graphic stories of human criminal depravity leave a blot of crime trail on your fingers as you keep turning the pages of this engrossing paperback page by page, chapter by chapter.

This book rips to shards my stance on reading non-fiction. A gripping, edge-of-the-seat story about a serial killer who wrecked havoc in the minds of Bollywood’s aspiring talent. While only some may be able to cope with the intensive details of the book, this one’s a must-read for anyone who loves peeling off layers of a story and revealing the dark truth set within. Unputdownable, paced, spine-chilling.

The rare Indian true crime book that does not insult your intelligence. Puja has written a fascinating yarn through a crime-beat journalist’s days. It is perceptible, it is fun, and reads very fresh. Wish there were a lot of books this juicy.

Because I teach journalism at a media college in Bengaluru, I have placed a copy of the book in our library for my students. There is some powerful stuff in here. If it is your goal to understand crucial aspects of what it means to be a journalist, you cannot afford to not have this book on your bookshelf — and within arm’s reach.

Ramesh Prabhu

Ever picked a book, started reading it and found yourself unable to keep it away, even for a minute? ‘Front Page Murders’ by Puja Changoiwala does that to you. I was fascinated in a straightforward way from first to last page in 32 hours. I think there’s always one book which makes you fall in love with a genre. And for Indian non-fiction crime, it’s The Front Page Murders. I’d give it more than 5 stars if I could.

Yet another crime thriller but with a difference: This book tells the real life story of one of the most dreaded serial killers of our time. The author recounts the events day-wise, and the book gives a very revealing picture of the crime through the eyes of a journalist. Highly readable.

Great writing, intriguing, a complex plot so well explained.
Thank you, Puja Changoiwala for keeping me occupied, and making me think.
It was scary, no doubt, but it gave a lot of insight and points to ponder upon.

Yogesh Madhwani