love kills

Though this is Ismita’s first book that I read, I did hear some good reviews of her last book, Jacob Hills. I picked up this book because murder mysteries intrigue me. Pitting yourself against the author and trying to figure out the whodunit is always thrilling.

An overview

This is the story of Johnny Will named after a Whisky who runs Thy Will – a de-addiction center for the rich and the famous. In the pristine locales of an imaginary town, Monele, located near Ooty unfolds a story of crime and passion. The story begins with the mysterious circumstances in which Johnny’s father died 15 years ago. The investigating Officer, Officer Ray, suspects Johnny’s hand in that death. But he does not get enough evidence to prove it.

15 years later, an affluent Johnny Will is a psychiatrist who uses strange techniques in his rehabilitation center to rid the rich of their addictions. He has a great team of his assistant, Sera and his cousin, Zac. He also has the beautiful Mira for his girlfriend, a rich, independent modern girl who is also an heiress to a fortune. Move to the death of Mira, in similar mysterious circumstances from an overdose of morphine. Both deaths have a common thread tying them — that of a sketch found near the bodies which depicted the dead body in the exact details.

Subsequently different characters are introduced in the story, each seeming more guilty than the other along with the details of Johnny’s troubled childhood and how it fashioned his life. Another gruesome murder takes place in a few days. Both the murders are now being investigated. The reader is kept guessing right till the end. Officer Ray is once again the Investigating Officer and this time he is baying for Johnny’s blood.

The Pros:

The story unravels nicely at a steady pace keeping the mystery alive. It is very Agatha Christieish in its approach. The end does try to tie the loose ends but in itself is a bit insipid. The fleshing out of Johnny’s childhood and his parents with their idiosyncrasies is done quite well and realistically.

The author refers to herself in a few places in the narrative as the “Lesser Known Poet” after her blog of the same name and used poetry too. Sort of like making a guest appearance in her own story. I found that cute.

A good story, a definite page turner written in easy, simple yet effective prose.

The caricatures done for each character are pretty unique.

The book will keep you guessing. It is not an edge-of-the-seat thriller but it is intriguing definitely.

The characters are well fleshed out and believable. They are complex with confusing pasts and presents. My only grouse with all novels is that all the main characters are almost model-like with perfect features and bodies, utterly good looking. I would love to see some authors experiment with people who “looked” more realistic.

The Cons

The story is narrated in first person. Each character has individual chapters and talks in first person. The narrative can get a tad bit confusing due to this reason. This style of narration takes a little time in getting used to.

The denouement does not live up to the crescendo which was building up all through. The climax is a little tame though the story does tie the loose ends yet the bit about Adele, the aunt, does seem a bit unbelievable.

Overall, I would rate Love Kills as an interesting read. If you like this genre, it will be time well spent reading this book.



30 Thoughts on “Book Review – Love Kills by Ismita Tandon

  1. Hmm…Interesting review Rachna. I usually don’t read reviews, but somehow felt like wanting to read this. I’m still unsure if it’s a book I’ll pick up – your cons seem to outweigh the pros – but that’s just for me 🙂
    Sid recently posted…The ProphecyMy Profile

    • She has done a competent job of narration and fleshing out of characters. Like I mentioned, the first person narrative took a little getting used to. Though the story on its own was nice, the climax did disappoint me. Yet, when I was reading the book, I read it with minimal breaks so definitely engrossing. Nothing spectacular overall. Thanks for reading, Sid :).
      Rachna recently posted…Book Review – Love Kills by Ismita TandonMy Profile

  2. Oh, I have read Jacob Hills and remember reading it in 3 hours flat without a break. It was so gripping and an enjoyable read. I am so looking forward to read Love Kills now. Agree with you, first person narrative and that too with so many characters is not an easy-breezy read and also sometimes it gets too introspectish. I prefer racy pacy reads with dialogues.
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…I am Blank Because…My Profile

  3. That was a well done review.. somewhere it sounds a lot like Happily Murdered, set in a fictional town with murder (s) happening within the family/near and dear ones. But what I like about this one is the dept that there potentially is through Johnnys troubled childhood and things like that.

    Not sure if I will pick it up right now, I am right now inching away from reading newbie Indian Authors and picking up on some international ones. Will put this down for a future read.

    • Thank you, Seeta. Yes, she used that part quite well, the intrigue in his background, the flawed circumstances, the weirdness of his relatives and the emotional scars which defined the man he became and his actions as well.

      Whenever you wish to read this, I can lend it to you :). Thanks for reading.

  4. I will add this to my wishlist! Sounds like a good read to me 🙂
    Veens @ Our Ordinary Life recently posted…Book Love: THE PLEASANT RAKSHASA by Sowmya RajendranMy Profile

  5. well ain’t that the truth and nothing but the truth .. Love does kill 🙂 for sure .. i got hooked with the title only ..

    good one 🙂

    Bikram recently posted…How to live and Die (2 and 3)- My ViewsMy Profile

  6. A neat and detailed review. I love reading murder mysteries….maybe I can borrow the book from you 🙂

  7. It’s the same with her first book. I have read few chapters of it. But I love her style, sure it takes time to get used to it.
    Saru Singhal recently posted…Quote Unquote ~ 30/365My Profile

  8. Nice review and just enough has been told to pique the curiosity…think should pick this one as I just love murder mysteries …..
    Maniparna Sengupta Majumder recently posted…Book Review : Time of Death By Shana FestaMy Profile

  9. Alok Vats on August 14, 2014 at 11:58 am said:

    Unfortunately I too have not yet get the chance to read any book of Ismita Tandon, but the way you did the review, it is forcing me to get this book immediately. 🙂 Great review Rachna, will try to grab this book ASAP…

  10. A really nice review, objective. Does not reveal the plot.
    Datta Ghosh recently posted…India and Matters of the HeartMy Profile

  11. I have read and reviewed Jacob Hills – found it an easy read but was not too happy with the fact that she placed the uniqueness of her narrative style (THAT first person POV for multiple characters) above the requirements of the story. The narrative style should be adopted to suit the tale you are telling and not the other way round, in my opinion, and I said as much in the review. Still, it was a good enough read and I suppose this one shall be a decent read as well, going by your review.
    chsuresh63 recently posted…Black and WhiteMy Profile

    • I haven’t read Jacob Hills but the reviews were all good. Yes, I think then this must be her signature style and it surely takes some getting used to. The book otherwise is perfectly readable.

  12. First person is a difficult read always. And more so if there are multiple characters.

    The plot sounds good though. Maybe a mix of Agatha Christie and Sidney Sheldon. I like them both. I like mystery, so I might pick this up.
    Soumya recently posted…The First CutMy Profile

    • Exactly, Soumya. It gets so confusing. It seems that this is her signature style. I love both the authors you’ve mentioned as well. Thanks for reading.

  13. I enjoyed this book review Rachna. After reading your review I feel I should read this one. I haven’t yet read any books by Ismita Tandon.

    You blog is designed well with clear and simple navigation.
    Nupur recently posted…Freedom to BeMy Profile

  14. The guest appearance of the author is definitely interesting ! I have only seen it in movies..curtsey KJo 🙂
    The chapters with I in each chapter can definitely get confusing.. I haven’t read any like that.
    Asha recently posted…Lemon TreeMy Profile

  15. Interesting!! I think I will ask my mom to get this book. I’m sure she will enjoy it as well! 🙂
    Thank you Rachna for the comprehensive review
    Pixie recently posted…The LetterMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Post Navigation