Checking Up On Love

Review of Love On The Rocks; Ismita Tandon Dhanker; Penguin 2011; Rs 150; pp 211

– Shana Susan Ninan

Let’s start the review by declaring that Ismita’s Love On The Rocks is Indian Book Reviews’ Best Read Of The Month – April. It is a new concept that we thought of having, after having come across this brilliant novel. The title that makes use of a pun is only one of the many things that’ll attract you to read the book. The red edge colouring brought back fond memories to my mind – of the times when I used to dust up classics from my parents’ collection and read on lazy afternoons.

Drawing heavily from her own life’s experiences, Ismita’s debut novel is a twist of romance, murder and mystery. To unlock the mysteries aboard the Sea Hyena, we have Sancha, Chief Officer Aaron Andrews’ newly-wed Malayali wife. And, that’s another thing I liked about the book – the Malayali woman protagonist! This smart and quick-to-act lady is the only female on the merchant navy ship, and makes friends quite fast. The death of the chief cook was hushed up, and Sancha’s husband kept if from her. Once she finds out what’s going on, she takes the help of First Engineer Harsh Castillo, a man with a smart mouth and an intriguing past. Sancha’s self-instituted investigation leads her to more questions than answers.

Ismita’s imagination drives us close to each and every thing that happens on the ship. The writing is well-structured and words flow with ease. Even though most of the action happens at sea and aboard the ship, the reader is constantly drawn to the plot through visualizations, exciting happenings and neatly-dealt characters. Talk about that, each of the characters, I noticed, has a good side and a bad side. The presence of the two makes them believable and interesting to read.

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Rating: 7.3/10 (7 votes cast)
Checking Up On Love, 7.3 out of 10 based on 7 ratings

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This entry was posted on Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 at 11:56 am and is filed under Fiction, Mystery, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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