Book Title: Swear You Won’t Tell?
Author: Vedashree Khambete-Sharma
Total Number of Pages: 244
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Publication Date: 9 March 2018
Genre: Fiction / Thriller / Murder Mystery
Dead body, check. Disillusioned reporter, check. Dark and sinister secrets, check. When Mumbai Daily journalist Avantika Pandit is asked to interview her childhood nemesis Aisha Juneja, she knows it will be like an express bikini wax – painful, but quick. Then Laxmi, her former best friend, shows up dead. And suddenly Avantika finds herself turning into the reporter she used to be – a nosy little newshound with the self-preservation instincts of a dodo. Now, she has to meet old acquaintances she’d hoped never to run into again, try to unravel the puzzle of Laxmi’s death, and ask the questions nobody seems to be asking – who is the man Laxmi was in love with? Why hasn’t anybody heard of him? What does he have to do with her death? The answers could get her killed. But if the choice is between death and writing listicles, dying might not be that bad after all. Featuring schoolyard rivalries, the Backstreet Boys and a fat dollop of 90s nostalgia, Swear You Won’t Tell? is part thriller, part whodunit, all fun.
REVIEWED BY SOHINEE DEY
I love mysteries, thrillers and crime fictions the most and I say it every time I review a thriller, mystery, suspense or a crime novel. Unlike other murder mysteries and thriller where the book only contains a twisted up murder plot and thereafter on investigation some nasty and creepy secrets are revealed, Swear You Won’t Tell offered a unique combination of murder mystery with a touch of Humour. This combination isn’t often seen in murder mysteries since they are thought of as “dark and serious” books and no one jokes around at such times. Coming across this unique combo was indeed a pleasant surprise.
I don’t get to read mysteries and thrillers as much as I would like to. Most of the time romance books gets into my mailbox. After reading tons of romance books, getting into a murder mystery was the change I needed the most.
I am not usually impacted by book titles and covers. It’s the plotline which I seek out for rather than the looks of the book. But, I had to admit that I was pretty much taken by the title and the book cover of this book. It had that vibe that called out to me and I really wanted to read it as soon as I could but unfortunately, got called in for an emergency and this book had to rest in the bookshelf for days. Just finished reading it two days back.
Avantika Pandit, the main protagonist in this book was a refreshing character. A journalist working for the Mumbai Daily, she is one hell of a saucy and sarcastic character. She gets invited to a show of Aisha Juneja, who happens to be a renowned designer and also her childhood nemesis. Interviewing her childhood enemy doesn’t seem to be a great opportunity to her at first. Later on she reluctantly agrees to show up in her show keeping away all odds with her. But everything takes a turn when Avantika comes to know that her former friend Laxmi has died and Aisha wouldn’t show up due to the bad news. Even though Avantika had lost contact with Laxmi still, the news of her sudden death shocks her (which it should). The investigation behind her death follows up thereafter and Avantika takes it upon herself to look into the case.
The central murder plot isn’t the main part of the book so, it’s not as strong as other murder mystery plotlines. The characters are what the author mostly focused on and hence, the book is rather character driven rather than plot driven. Avantika was excellently sketched out and the author has managed to incorporate minute details about her to make her look human and I was really able to FEEL her character. As I progressed into the story, I was confronted with many of the past revelations of Avantika’s character. I won’t say that I was having negative thoughts when I first came across her character but she didn’t give a positive impression of her either. But, I was looking forward to knowing her better and to know the reason behind her being the way she turned out to be.
I did like the author’s writing style. It had a conversational sort of style which I could connect with better than I usually do when it comes down to mysteries. As for the narration, the fluctuations between the past and the present kind of confused me but I was able to navigate through the story and reach the end. However, I do feel that when Avantika’s part of the story was revealed, it could have been managed in the present rather than going back and forth. For this, I felt that it disrupted the flow of the story a bit and I was really enjoying the pace and the flow of the story. Other than that, I really liked reading the book.
MY FINAL VERDICT
With humour and a murder mystery, Vedashree Khambete-Sharma did an amazing job of making me swoon with this particular genre that I will raid the internet to find out more books with a combination as unique as this.
I would recommend this book to murder mystery lovers and also readers who would like to try out a new combination. The plot doesn’t involve that much of a hardcore mystery but, the characters are definitely something that would get you talking.
POESY IN CHRYSALIS RATING : ⭐⭐⭐ / ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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