PLOT: 4/5
Themes: Domestic Drama, Women Protagonist, Psychological Thriller, Domestic Thriller

I have a particular affinity for domestic thrillers and psychological thrillers when it comes to mystery genres.

Although I dislike real-life drama, I find myself captivated by female protagonists who thrive on intrigue and psychological games within the realm of fiction. 

It may sound twisted, but there’s a sense of liberation in reading about these women in thrillers, particularly because they break away from the conventional archetype of delicate, helpless damsels, that are allowed to only exude softness and elegance. Instead, these menacing women bring a refreshing change.

That’s why when I discovered Girish Dutt Shukla’s latest book, Cold Blooded Love, it was impossible to resist the temptation to dive right away into this sinister-sounding tale.

This gripping read incorporates all the elements I have mentioned in the previous paragraph, making it an irresistible choice for me.

The plot of Cold Blooded Love (no spoilers here!)

In the quest for a forever happy family, Ziva finds herself separated from her husband, Om, questioning if such a family can ever exist.

Just when she’s on the verge of giving up, fate throws a tantalizing twist her way—the arrival of a seemingly flawless couple next door.

Ovya and Aadit epitomize perfection, radiating an undeniable love that leaves Ziva yearning for what she once had with Om. But beware, for appearances can be deceiving.

Behind their flawless facade lurk hidden flaws and vulnerabilities, cracks in their seemingly impenetrable armor.

As Ovya befriends Ziva, the walls begin to crumble, unveiling a web of secrets about her enigmatic husband. Ziva’s bubble of hope bursts, shattering the illusion of a perfect love story.

Then, one fateful night, a bone-chilling scream pierces the air, echoing from the depths of the couple’s home. In the aftermath, Ovya vanishes without a trace, plunging Ziva into an unwelcome whirlwind of a family drama she never wished to be a part of.

Caught in a thrilling predicament, Ziva finds herself torn between pursuing her desires and finally putting an end to the eternal conundrum—can happily ever after truly exist?

The stakes are high, and the suspense mounts as Ziva must make a choice that could change her life forever.

What to expect?

Anticipate an enthralling experience. In Cold Blooded Love, prepare for a psychological thriller that seamlessly blends elements of domestic drama and domestic thriller

Within its pages, encounter a compelling female protagonist who defies stereotypes and challenges your perception of leading women. 

Brace yourself for a narrative that delves into the depths of darkness and complexity, with characters harboring a multitude of secrets. 

Nothing is as it initially appears, and the mastery of deception becomes a cornerstone. Explore the intricate dynamics of married relationships, as this book unearths the complexities that lie beneath the surface.

The writing 

The story bursts onto the scene, captivating us from the very beginning. Ziva takes center stage, and soon, Ovya and Aadit enter her world, adding an intriguing layer to the story.

The narrative skillfully oscillates between different timelines, creating an air of uncertainty and mystery that keeps readers on their toes.

Throughout the book, deciphering each character becomes a challenging task. It’s a tale where hidden agendas abound, and trust is a scarce commodity.

Even Ziva, the narrator herself, at times, emanates an aura of unreliability, leaving us questioning her moves.

What truly astounded me was the author’s ability, despite being a man, to flawlessly portray the world from a woman’s perspective.

The emotional depth and intricate details are captured with such finesse that only a woman’s intuition could achieve. The point-of-view narration is simply impeccable, and I must applaud the author for delivering an exceptional feat.

The pace of Cold Blooded Love maintains a steady rhythm, neither rushing nor dragging, allowing the reader to savor the intricate details that embellish Ziva’s daily existence.

Admittedly, there are moments where the book becomes somewhat monotonous, but this flaw can easily be forgiven amidst the overall compelling narrative.

The characters

At first glance, Ziva appears as a woman trapped in the clutches of a mid-life crisis, desperately seeking answers that elude her grasp.

Her ennui is palpable, and she clings to fleeting moments of solace through distant phone calls with a friend and her voyeuristic observations of neighbors from behind drawn curtains. 

Yet, beneath this seemingly disinterested facade lies a complexity that surpasses initial judgment. Ziva defies expectations, captivating readers with her depth, leaving an indelible mark long after the final page is turned.

The supporting characters in the book are equally captivating. They skillfully perform their roles, keeping the reader constantly on edge, and entangling them in a web of confusion and intrigue. 

With each twist and turn, these characters provide enticing and enigmatic hooks, compelling the reader to delve deeper, eagerly turning page after page, driven by the burning desire to uncover the ultimate truth that awaits them.

The glimpses into Ziva’s past, spanning from her childhood to her more recent experiences in Mumbai, offer a revealing insight into her character. At first, these flashbacks may leave you pondering their purpose and direction.

However, as the story unfolds and approaches its climactic conclusion, the puzzle pieces seamlessly come together, illuminating a crystal-clear understanding of Ziva’s journey. 

In the end

While the realm of psychological thrillers boasts an abundance of remarkable works by international authors, I have noticed a dearth of Indian voices making their mark in this genre. With only a handful of established names, there seemed to be a void awaiting fresh voices to emerge. 

Into this space, enters Girish Dutt Shukla and his gripping masterpiece, Cold Blooded Love.

The novel not only captivates with its dark and compelling psychological narrative but also heralds the arrival of a promising new talent in this unexplored realm. 

A highly recommended read indeed!

Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy now!