Author– Smita Bhattacharya
Book– Dead To Them
Previous Works– Debut Novel
Number of Pages– 268
Moira Madhwa is the typical young, beautiful and successful urban woman until the day she goes missing. Her friends start looking for her, but quickly realize nothing is as it seems.
Moira had kept devastating secrets-secrets that could wreck their lives if revealed. As days roll by, one by one, skeletons tumble out of closets, and each of Moira’s friends’ looks guilty. But did one among them hate her enough to do the worst?
A nail-biting, psychological suspense thriller, Dead to Them weaves a web of deception, lies, and paranoia in the city of Mumbai, where every face hides a dark story and uncovering it can lead to disastrous consequences.
Dead to them by Smita Bhattacharya, is a thriller, revolving around the disappearance of the character Moira Madhwa and the secrets that all she knew had kept from each other.
Moira goes missing and her friends are too scared to report the incident. The folks at her office, wait for the Human Resource department to take some action but, bound by the rules, they have to wait.
As the story unfolds, the reader gets to know about Moira, the girl who made herself who she was. The person who cared and was there for each of her friends. Some of her colleagues were jealous, as the case happen to be when a woman goes up the ladder, way faster than others.
Her friends, who were a big part of her life, as those were the only ones she had any personal relation with, turn out to be the ones she might have issues all the time. The pregnant couple, Misha and Piyush, whose lives are torn apart because secrets engulf their happiness. Avni, the one with a broken past, who wants to find Moira but is too scared to let go of the happiness she has. Himanshu, whose life is as twisted as that of Moira’s and her colleagues, Kartik, Arun and Kavya, who might be involved with her disappearance in some way.
What makes you bite your nails, is the truth behind, Dead To them.
Smita Bhattacharya has kept the storyline clean with a limited number of characters. This was one of the best features of the story. The characters mentioned in the beginning are the only important characters in the story, making it easier for the reader to keep a track of who did what.
The narration was perfect for the plot, slow, as it plays in your head like a movie. Every character spoke with a deep breath, with a certain amount of calm in the dialogues, like it was some sort of peace before the hurricane.
I read the book during the times when I was going through a reader’s block. It took me an entire month to read this book and I am thankful that this was the book I had picked to read. Had it been another book, I doubt I would have been able to complete it. The book kept me guessing the story behind everything. Every time I doubted some character to be the culprit, everyone else seemed equally guilty. There was a time when I didn’t want to know whether Moira was dead or alive, I just wanted to know why everyone is the way they are.
The author, Smita Bhattacharya, doesn’t give you the answers one after another as the story unfolds. She gives you questions, and she does it in such a way that you end up, mentally begging for the answers. I was never a woman of patience, I always find myself getting bored if something drags for too long. But there I was, turning the pages, and yes, it was all worth it. I got a climax that I would never have thought of. I was somewhat engaged with all those questions, to even give a thought, that the book might end the way it did.
The book sports a rather simple cover, portraying a tombstone that displays the words of the title.
The blurb was perfect, the right amount required to stir the brain, but not too much to give away the plot.
Cover- 3 stars
Title- 4 stars
Blurb- 5 stars
Plot- 4 stars
Writing and Presentation- 4 star
Overall- 4 stars out of 5
The cover of the book, happens to be too simple for anyone to take it seriously. Moira was a fascinating character, a sketch of her being or something related to her, could do wonders to the book.
The title of the book seemed a bit off, all those people associated with Moira, doubted her death but no one had accepted it.
Reviewed by- Banaja Prakashini
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About The Author-
Smita Bhattacharya works as a management consultant and lives in Mumbai. Her short stories have appeared in numerous Indian and international publications. Her books rank among the top Asian Literature & Fiction on Amazon. When not working, and sometimes even when, she stares out of coffee shop windows and wonders about the hidden stories behind the passing faces.