WRITING STYLE: 3/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3/5
After a long time I chanced upon a murder mystery and that too from a debut author and since murder mystery is one genre that has a very high probability of a good entertainment quotient, I eagerly sat down to read this book. I was not to be disappointed because this debut author has done a fairly good job of writing a murder mystery.
“Despite Love” is a combination of romance and murder mystery with subtle elements of a coming of age novel narrated through a flashback window. The story is of 5 friends Rishabh, Amita, Smriti, Aradhya and Ankit. While Aradhya, Smriti, Rishabh and Ankit had been friends since college days, Amita became the latest entry to their bandwagon when Rishabh upon his arrival in India from New York, introduced her to his group.
They instantly hit it off well with the 5 of them meeting almost every day. Having taken small breaks from their respective jobs they were convinced by Ankit into changing a very small and underdeveloped village on the outskirts of Hyderabad into a modern and advance village. The five together took to the task with great enthusiasm and soon the village started showing signs of positive change.
But before their mission was accomplished, the spell was broken. Smriti died under mysterious circumstances and soon to follow was another one of their friends. Smriti, who for some time had been having a troubled relationship with long-time boyfriend Rishabh wanted a short break but little did she and Rishabh knew that the short break will be a permanent one. So who murdered Smriti and why? And why were others being targeted? Was Rishabh next in line? To know this and much more read this exciting novel today!
What I enjoyed in “Despite Love” were its characters; they were simple, caring, affable and vivacious. I also liked the coming of age element which is most observable in the first half of the book. The way the pace of the story is maintained throughout the book is also noteworthy. The story progresses at an even pace and does not appear dull or slow at any moment. The language is kept simple and that makes the read a really breezy one. The author, being a debut one, has surely done a good job of keeping the book simple and unpretentious. The cover and the blurb are compelling and exciting.
Though overall “Despite Love” is a decent read, there are certain elements which do not go well with the plot. For example, the unnecessarily lengthy descriptions of the group’s outings in Hyderabad and Delhi were uncalled for. The first half of the story looks like a coming of age novel whereas the second half is a murder mystery. Both the parts seem rather apart; they do not mingle effortlessly into each other. If you look at both of the parts individually, they seem good but together as a whole, they fail to appease. I also did not find the climax part interesting. It was quite predictable from the start and the degree of novelty of imagination was very less.
Having said that, I also would like my readers to know that the author of this book, Siddhartha Srivastava, is a school student and hence I strongly believe that this being the author’s first book, his writing is bound to become more mature as he progresses and that is one reason why I will definitely be waiting for the author’s next read.
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