PLOT: 4.5/5
CLIMAX: 4.5/5

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] “Six days now. Too long. Too long. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Things hadn’t gone according to plan. This was not what he had been expecting at all. Something had gone wrong. He had to do something. He glanced askew at his wife, but she couldn’t know anything. Especially not now.

– Smita Bhattacharya, Dead to Them [/perfectpullquote]

What to expect?

Dead to Them is a mystery and a thriller. The book can more specifically be termed as a psychological thriller and would appeal to people who have previously enjoyed books such as The Girl on the Train, Into the Water and Gone Girl.

The story as it goes

Moira Madhwa is a young and successful woman who lives in Mumbai. Moira is very good at her job and is often the prime cause of jealousy in her colleagues. One fine day she goes missing without leaving any clue whatsoever. As the days go by, her friends and colleagues become restless and start looking for her, but each person who is out there searching for Moira is doing so for his/her own selfish reasons.

Everybody is busy harbouring their own secrets; secrets that have the power to wreck multiple lives. Everyone is guilty and everybody has a motive. Dead to Them is an intense read which weaves a fascinating tale of lies, betrayals, scandals and paranoia.

[perfectpullquote align=”left” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“How much can you really trust the people close to you?”[/perfectpullquote]

The characters

Though none of the characters stand out, they all have a personality and past shrouded in mystery. They are impressive but not spectacularly so. As a group – being Moira’s friends, Moira’s colleagues and Moira’s love interests – they do well but if I look at them individually they could have been better. Even the main character of Moira which was so intelligently created had scope for improvement.

The plot and the writing style

This is the part where the book wins my heart. The plot is conceived exceptionally well. The mystery that surrounds Moira’s disappearance builds up slowly and gradually sucking the reader in. Then as the pages progress, the secrets are revealed to us in layers. The author makes use of a simple language and relies on complex layers rather than complex words to create an everlasting impact. Though the book appears a bit confusing in the beginning, as the reader progresses it all becomes the part of a bigger picture.

The Climax

The climax of Dead to Them comes as a surprise package. It comes as a shock initially but as the reality of what-just-happened sinks in, there is no denying the brilliance in it. It is completely unpredictable and changes the entire story in a matter of minutes. I am almost always too critical of climaxes in the various thrillers that I read, but the climax of Dead to Them was just too good to find faults with.

Entertainment quotient and the final verdict

Dead to Them is a great read. It’s a well written psychological thriller which gives the reader that edge-of-the-seat thriller kind of vibes. The book manages to pique and maintain the readers’ interest at all points of time and in that way, it surely makes for an entertaining read.

What did I like?

The best part about this book was that at no point of time it gave away what was to come. At the turn of every couple of pages, new twists were introduced. This way the reader was always kept perplexed and confused but in an entertaining way. I also liked the way the book reflects the harsh reality of today’s corporate scene where scandals, illicit affairs, office gossips and nepotism have now become the norm.

What could have been better?

The one thing that I did not enjoy about this book was its cover. It looks unappetizing and does little to arouse the readers’ interest. At the very first glance, it either comes across as a horror read or as a deeply emotional read about death. It surely doesn’t look like the cover of a psychological thriller.

Who should pick it?

Dead to Them would appeal to readers who

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