Smita Beohar's Reviews > Love on The Rocks

Love on The Rocks by Ismita Tandon Dhankher
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May 11, 11

bookshelves: chick-lits, review-copy
Read from April 09 to 14, 2011

Set on a ship, Love on the Rocks is a murder mystery seen through the eyes of Sancha. Newly Wedded to Aaron a merchant navy sailor, she joins him on the ship; Sea Hyena expecting adventure & romance.

The idle life changes for Sancha when a huge stash of money is stolen from the captain’s room. All alone & with loads of time on her hand she tries to unravel the mystery of the theft but ends up discovering that the accidental death which had happened 20 days before her joining the ship was actually a murder. A little prodding and she knew that there was more than what meets the eyes.

The ship is full of colorful characters like the Captain Popeye (infamous for his temper & porn movie collection), 1st Engineer Harsh Castillo (who is fighting his own demons of a divorce & an alleged violent behavior) & then there is Baldy, a fresh cadet (who was tortured & humiliated time & again by his seniors). Each of them has a motive & is a suspect for Sancha but when the clues she has implicate even her hubby Aaron she doesn’t know whom & what to trust.

Will she find the murderer & the thief or would she end up being the victim? Read the murder mystery to know more.

Narrated from the point of view of each character the book makes for an interesting read. It gives us an insight of what each suspect is thinking but the author leaves you hanging with suspense at precisely the right point. It is however the voice of Manna which you would really like to unravel.

Manna first appears in the prologue which sets the tone of the book. Without revealing much I will only say that after reading the prologue you will feel that Manna is your guy but which character is Manna is on you to guess and I must say that the debutant author has managed to keep the suspense quite well which is no mean feat :-) She give out enough hints to keep you glued to the book.

Well written & well paced the author has enough twists & turns up her sleeves to keep you guessing. I consider myself good at solving murder mysteries had my own suspect but the twists & turns ensured that I couldn’t guess the murder.

The book comes with its downsides, after building the scenario quite well the point where the culprit is revealed was a let down for me because of mainly two reasons. One, it was quite hurried & two, the motive not so convincing. The ending of the book is again an open ended one & if you know me you know that I have my own reservations on it. I need a closure especially when it is a murder mystery. Another issue that I had was with the frequent stitching over from formal names to the nick names of the characters, but I guess I should blame my memory for that ;-)

All in all it was a good time pass masala read for a rainy day. Pick it up when you are travelling, time will fly while you are reading this. A good murder mystery to have come out of the nest of Contemporary Indian Authors which is a rarity.
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