Love on the Rocks by Ismita Tandon Dhanker
Having read a couple of books from the Metro reads series by Penguin, I slot them under fast-paced reads. Which show a certain aspect of emerging trends of urban living. Not too much on the literary side but still making the point in a fictional format.
Love on the Rocks comes with an interesting format where the story is woven through the individual narratives of the characters. Sometimes it can get confusing. As you have to constantly remember who are you listening to. Yes; key characters have been etched out very well. But others have been left for the readers to gather over the chapters.
The setting is interesting, on a ship from Japan to Miami and back. But the description of the ship and life on it is missing. But then descriptions are often skipped in Metro reads. There is a good attempt to describe the culture on the ship. The boredom of the sailors, their challenges and their ways of entertaining themselves. The author being a Sailor’s wife, some parts seem straight out of her own experience. And I have a feeling she had herself in mind for the only woman on board, and hence has been very kind to that character. Not sure if she really solved a mystery on the ship.
The plot is interesting involving a fresh marriage, one woman and 20+ men on board a ship in the middle of nowhere. A murder that has already happened and the one that is to follow. A small but significant theft and an obvious interest and attempt to solve the mystery. The plot keeps revolving around the same data points with suspicion on the same few people. Only the conversations around these data points change. The truth is revealed only to the readers and not to the characters involved. I think the script of the plot could have been crisper. The element of suspense though keeps lingering until the very end of the story.
The language of Love on the Rocks is ok, it could have been more consistent. The poetry seems to be forced here and there. Clarity of thought is missing or has been lost in editing.
Take a call if you want to read Love on the Rocks.