Thursday, November 7, 2013

Book Review: Love on The Rocks by Ismita Tandon Dhankher

On the jacket: 

'What happened to Gary?'
'He was lying on the floor, dead.'
'Congratulations, Raghav. Your investigation has reached the next level, from theft to probable homicide!'

Newly-wed Sancha is excited about sailing with her husband, an officer in the merchant navy, on board the Sea Hyena. But Chief Officer Aaron Andrews is keeping a secret from his wife—a month before she arrived, the chief cook was found dead in the meat locker, his death ruled an accident. First Engineer Harsh Castillo is enamoured of his best friend Aaron's bride, but that's the least of his problems. The demons he's battling have a stronger pull on him.

When money is stolen from the captain's safe, the inquisitive Sancha makes a game of finding the thief. What she finds, instead, is a murder. With the evidence implicating her husband, Sancha is at a crossroads— should she tell Raghav Shridhar, the investigating officer, about the money or should she give her secretive husband the benefit of the doubt?


I read Dhanker's second book first. I loved it so much, I simply had to read her first book, Love on The Rocks. I am reviewing this book first and will move on to the next on, after this.

First I have to tell you what I loved about Dhanker's writing. Apart from it being good, narration being crisp and perfect and the tales, well spun I loved that her first book is set with the Merchant Navy as the backdrop while her second book, Jacob Hills, is set in the Indian Army.

Love on The Rocks is set on a ship, in which newly married Sancha has set sail with her new husband (Aaron) with dreams of romance and a bit of adventure. The ship's name is Sea Hyena. Once Sancha is aboard the ship and it sets sail, she encounters some amazing experiences and finds herself face to face with an actual murder mystery. 

There is a theft in the ship and then there is a murder. Sancha has everyone in the ship's crew in her list of suspects. The book has msultiple narrations, from the different characters' points of views.

Well-paced and well-timed, Love on The Rocks is murder mystery ideal for a winter afternoon, with a mug of coffee. The climax was however, a little disappointing - it was too hurried and not too convincing. All in all, a fresh first attempt by an author.

Rating: ***.5/5

[This was a personal read.]

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