Framed is an English language crime thriller written by local wordsmiths. Veteran journalist Golam Kibria and his daughter Adrita Kibria team up to bring a suspenseful tale of deceit, perception, and injustice. The novella is a freshman attempt at narrative by one of the two authors, who was 16 years old at the time of writing it. Some tropes and twists may not have a narrative impact for voracious readers of fiction, but the pacing is done well, and the tale features characters who are very relatable.
The two deuteragonists are both Bangali, and honestly, it is refreshing to read an English story with central characters named Junaid and Tonmoy; the imagination has far less work to do in terms of conjuring the images necessary to visualise the novel.
The title announces the main crux of the story. It centres around the murder of a close friend of Junaid's (who is studying abroad in the US). The writing style is a slight mix between Dan Brown's penchant for suspenseful prose, purposefully keeping things in the dark and the murder mystery aura of Agatha Christie.
The writing is easy to follow. Apart from a few spelling, continuity and dialogue issues, the novella tells a complete story that can stand on its own but probably wouldn't lend itself well to a sequel.
Is it one of the best Bangladeshi-based English language stories out there? Probably not. But the authors' attempt to broaden the breadth of literature that Bangladesh can incubate should not go overlooked; given the age of one of the writers, I can personally say that this is a good maiden attempt.
The authors can certainly benefit from another attempt at narrative partnership. Writing good fiction is more about practice than talent. If you possess the latter, you owe it to yourself to foster the former.