Cold Blooded Love by Girish Dutt Shukla #BookReview #PsychologicalThrillers #MysteryThrillers #Suspense @Rupa_Books @GirishDttShukla — Rain’n’books
Rating: 4 out of 5.
What a cracker of a thriller! One where you begin reading imagining a story that would unravel this way and that way and all of a sudden, you are reading the climax with the stunning realization that you have been duped spectacularly.
Ziva is the quintessential unreliable narrator of the story, she is more or less like the same character that seems to be the staple for psychological thrillers, a woman drowning in sorrows, keeping herself sane with alcohol, and her only excitement that of being a peeping tom to her neighbor’s life. Of course, I have had my share of psychological thrillers with a similar opening scene all pointing to this loving couple across the window and an incident that might trigger the rosy hues to turn all black and grey. And more fool me, I kept expecting the same, Yeah, I know where this is going but soon the author is yanking my chain showing Ziva as just not a freelance designer suffering from grief and trauma but as someone with deep passions and hidden depths.
Ziva’s thought process divulges her layered characterization unfurling with each revelation as each chapter takes us thru the present events centered around a murder that occurs in the neighbor’s house and the past that led to her separation from her husband, Om.
Girish Dutt Shukla crafts a cunning and beguiling thriller playing havoc with the reader’s mind, getting them to focus on the happenings of life across the window when the placid water is churning underneath creating a whirlpool waiting to explode in this window. The exploration of emotions that drive a human being was captured wonderfully and also there is this nuanced manoeuvring by the author revealing bits and pieces of Ziva’s life that I recognized but had in no way prepared me for that final denouement.
There are scene changes in the story that I felt could have been smoother like one scene where Ovya visits Ziva in her home and the next line is bout the locality of the house and it took me a second or two to grasp that the story has moved to another scene. A minor point in an otherwise brilliant thriller.
Having separated from her husband Om, Ziva keeps wondering: can there be a happy forever family? Her new neighbours-Ovya and Aadit-appear to be a perfect couple, and they make her reminisce the good times she spent with her once loving husband.
Soon, however, Ziva discovers that everything is not so rosy with the couple. As Ovya starts sharing her views about Aadit, the myth of perfection begins to crumble. One night, Ziva hears a penetrating scream and then Ovya goes missing.
Caught in the middle of a family scandal, Ziva finds herself in a fix as she struggles with a simple question. Should she pursue her heart, or give up on her dreams and finally accept that family bliss is perhaps a misnomer?
Many thanks to Rupa Publications and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.