It is always fun to delve into a life about which you have no or very less idea. I guess that is why the spy-novels, the thrillers, the detective-novels sell like hotcakes. They give an insight into a life which is not experienced by most of the readers. That is the reason I love Arthur Hailey’s writing, he goes in such details about any industry that after reading the book you can claim to have inside knowledge of that industry. In a similar vein, the book Love on the Rocks by Ismita Tandon Dhankher attempts to explore the life on a ship.
The book is about the time spent by Sancha – wife of an officer of merchant navy- aboard a ship, along with her husband and a band of disparate people who make up the crew. A robbery takes place on the ship, Sancha finds out about the death of a cook few days before she came on-board, and soon the accidental death is found to be a murder. Sancha’s efforts along with the investigative officer’s makes up the rest of story along with her interactions with her husband.
The book is a breezy read. It has an interesting plot, and the flow of the story is quite good. Even though the mystery started quite late in the book, the editing does not let off anywhere and makes the book a quick read. The story is told from viewpoints of different people and that makes the story quite interesting as the reader has all the information. The character of Sancha was sketched out very well, but other characters could not be sketched well as they were part of the list of suspects. But even then you know a bit of background story for everybody, and it in an interesting group of people on-board that ship.
Initially in the book many characters were introduced at one go, which made it confusing to keep track of them as almost all main characters had nicknames too which were used by the other characters in conversations making it confusing at times to keep track of who is who. It would have been great if there was a page dedicated to all main characters, their nicknames, and what do they do on the ship – meaning what exactly is their responsibility on the ship. And I wish there was more explanation on how the cargo ship works. That could have made the read much more interesting. There were a few abbreviations which made reading a tad difficult. Had to think twice before realizing that 2/O is second officer, and till now I don’t know what is AB? These minor things did deter the flow a bit, but did not have any major impact on the reading.
On the whole an interesting book. The Metro-Reads stands true to its name – it definitely is a very quick read.
Addendum: This is an author requested review. I was contacted by the author to review her book.