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.
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 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 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.