Sunday, October 30, 2016

Shadow in the mirror by Deepti Menon - book review

The book had my intrigue greatly stirred, well before I got to lay my hands on it. Who won’t be curious to know what a novel that underwent twelve years of incubation by the author known for her eerie stories, has to offer?
The blurb
It all begins with a death. Nita, a pregnant woman falling from her balcony, becomes the string that unravels the plot. Her death casts a shadow over many lives; her heartbroken father, her husband, and Vinny, a young journalist, drawn in by the whiff of foul play and murder.
What follows are stories within stories, eras and worlds colliding with each other, leaving behind splintered relationships, and mesmerizing slices of lives that appear to be drawn together and driven apart by the whimsical threads of destiny.
As events cast their shadows ahead to link the stories of Vinny, Kavita, Roma, Krish, and Nita in an unrelenting knot, a journey starts to uncover the truth. What is the secret that links Nita’s death to the other characters? Will Vinny be able to unravel the mystery?
From intimate diary entries and letters, to bantering over a meal, and sharing memories while spring-cleaning, this novel de-familiarizes the ordinary, presenting a kaleidoscope of our own pasts, broken edges and pulsating hearts.
About the author
Deepti Menon is the author of two books, Arms and the Woman and Deeparadhana. She has worked as a journalist with several publications, and is now a freelance editor. Short stories with deft twists and tongue-in-cheek articles that tickle the funny bone are her forte. Deepti lives with her family in Chennai.
The cover
The cold stare from the icy blue medium of the front cover promises to thrill the life out of anybody who dares to look into those blue eyes. Little did I know about the mysteries that were waiting for me to delve deep into the concealment.
The back cover has the blurb of the story and an interesting note about the author.

The book quality
The book has the best quality cover and the paper quality is too good to keep the fingers off the pages. The font as well as the line spacing is absolutely flawless.
The plot
The plot encompasses the journey of many lives with a death being the conjecture that turns them topsy-turvy. Vinny, a young journalist, is disturbed after stumbling upon the death of a pregnant young woman, which potentially makes a good crumb for her story. When she’s confused about the mess that she got herself into, a shadow figure leaves her with a strange note at her door step, letting her know the next move. The question, what seems like a jigsaw puzzle, is thrown in front of Vinny, with the answer being Nita’s death. Now, the job is hers to put the pieces together by raising the right queries at the right places.
The execution
The puzzle has three domains of different lives, that fall in place as the story progresses, leaving us with three people in the end, who share the cause and effects of the mysterious death.
 The first domain encircles Madhav, Sonia, their precious daughter, Nita and her loving husband, Krish. Their lives have been pretty much like anybody else’s with the usual ups and downs, happiest as well as darkest moments, except Nita being nurtured in a cocoon of wealth, which paves way for her uninvited troubles. Their servant-maid Rosy charms the readers with her cute snippets of wisdom.
The second domain with Vaishali and her best friend Kavita, which initially seems a little off-track, is surprisingly well-connected to the key happenings of the story, in the most interesting fashion. The unexpected turn of events in the two women’s lives turns the story of a different set of people topsy-turvy.
The third domain consists of Sudha, her husband Eshwar, their children Vinny and Shamu, Vinny’s best friend Roma and her family. This is the loveliest of the three domains. Sudha’s life as an army wife, Vinny growing up together with Roma and how their lives take entirely different roads only to meet at a crucial intersection, such a masterfully penned chunk.
The narration
The narration is exceptional that it doesn’t feel like actually reading a book. It is as if listening to the author herself. Perfect number of characters with the comprehensive description of each character paints an unblemished picture of the story in the readers’ mind.
Unlike most other thrillers, the description of the happening scenes sends chills down the spine even without the mention of blood and gore. The first chapter virtually got me hurtling down from the twelfth storey, enthralling my head with dying Nita’s thought process.
Initially many a guess arises within the readers’ mind which is typical of an ideal thriller. The revelation towards the end is almost like placing the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle.
A steady yet gripping pace is maintained throughout, rendering the book un-put-down-able. Besides proving to be an engaging thriller, the book puts the readers in peace with an exciting end.
The book keeps all its promises by entertaining the readers with a brand-new experience in the thriller-mystery combo. Put in a nut-shell, Shadow in the Mirror is one of a kind and deserves to be a celebrated number under Indian-writing.
Blurb: 5/5
Description: 4.5/5
Writing style: 5/5
Excerpt: 5/5
Book cover: 5/5
Overall rating: 5/5
Book details:
Author: Deepti Menon
Genre: Thriller
Type: Paperback and ebook.
Publisher: Readomania
Language: English
Pages: 206
Year of publication: 2016
Price: 225 INR
Buy paperback:
Buy Kindle edition:
India -
Canada -
UK -
Australia -

1 comment:

  1. Dear Srimathi, thank you so much for your elaborate and incisive review! I am honoured!