This is my first read of Vish Dhamija. The title rang a bell, because of Sidney Sheldon's bestseller. The contents turned out to be as different as one would expect.
Dhamija pulls of a tale of mystery and intrigue, that however lacks the speed of narrative that readers crave in a typical thriller.
The actual story behind in part 2 of the book. One wonders what's going on and where everything is leading, almost to the point of giving up on the book in the first half. Part 2 thereby redeems the book, in this respect. It may take some readers multiple references and turning back of pages to refer to dates, to enjoy the book more.
The characterization is puzzling. Why socialites are showcased as alcohol guzzling, chain smoking elitists all the time is beyond comprehension. The romance and dialogues between Raaj and Serena is excessive, to the point of boredom or fakeness. D'Cunha and Kabir are smart and suave charmers. Kim is a useful accessory in the plot. The rest of them are forgettable.
The descriptions of clothes are full of detail, with strong imagery, but bordering on excessive and rather unnecessary.
The second half of the story picks up good pace and the move towards the climax makes up for the slow first part. The best parts of the book are the investigations and interactions of the policemen-turned-CBI officials D'Cunha and Kabir.
The turns and solutions in the mystery were predictable for me, perhaps because of all the Agatha Christies I devoured during my childhood. Readers unaccustomed to mystery genres may love the way it pans out.
Overall, the book is readable, if one can gloss over the parts that do not add value to the plot, except for a little imagery and atmosphere.
I rate it 3.6 out of 5. Did you find my review useful? Do follow my blog for more.
Happy reading, readers.