18 April 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

Death in Colaba Bay by Ambika Subramanian (Book Review: 2.75*/5) !!!

1923rd BLOG POST


12th Book of 2021

 


Any reference to Mumbai makes me curious to pick up the book and know about my city and the story which can thrive here. This made me pick up a book named “Death in Colaba Bay” written by the debutante author, Ambika Subramanian. This book belongs to the thriller genre and is summed up in around 140 pages. Generally, when we read thrillers, it is quite long in around 300+ pages but I am glad that we are getting more Indian authors who are trying to write short thrillers rather than narrating useless sub-plots just to keep the book long. Ambika is another one in this list who knows how much to write for a story which has a basic plot around which the whole investigation shall be taking place.

 

The writing style is good and I didn’t feel that the author is a debutante considering the way she has managed to pick up a topic which isn’t very easy to write. Like, a thriller in the very first attempt is very difficult to scribble because if it isn’t good and your readers end up guessing the criminal in the first few pages itself, your book is a big flop. Secondly, taking the charge of writing it in as less as 140 pages only. Thirdly, basing it in Mumbai of 1800s which requires a lot of efforts as you need to know the locale and modus operandi of how things worked during that era. Hence, the way she has tried to maintain the balance considering all these factors is appreciable.

 

The story moves very crisply in the first half of the book and you just get excited to know how these multiple plots will land up together eventually solving the cases of abduction of 3 girls out of whom one girl is found to be dead. The character development of Tara and Arun is very nicely done such that you are able to relate with them. Tara resolving the case in order to help the police has been handled beautifully as you are able to digest that a common person is doing all of this so easily. The way royal family is involved in this plot from the central provinces keeps you excited as you wish to know what the role of Prince is in this whole abduction and murder story based in Mumbai.

 

Overall, this book is a light read for the people who get scared to pick up a thriller book thinking that it might be difficult for them to understand the murder mystery and several characters getting introduced here and there. Ambika has assured that once she is done introducing her characters in the initial pages, she will not add up any other character in the book for no reason. All the characters are introduced and used properly. The book doesn’t have any violent or vulgar scenes which are often added in thrillers to make them sound interesting. This tells about author’s conviction and belief in her story.

 

Now, talking about the drawbacks, I must say that there are many editing mistakes in the book. I don’t know how the writer and editor missed it even in such a short book. Talking about the story based in 1800s’ Mumbai, I must say that there isn’t much talked about the way Mumbai looked or lived during that era which makes you worry why the story is even based in that era except that it involves some trading which could have been easily replaced with today’s world. Also, even though the author has certain twists and turns to bring in the story, she couldn’t write them in a way that could make you jump or open your mouth in astonishment. They are written quite plainly as if someone is narrating a romantic tale to you. There could have been a lot that could have been done with this plot. It is quite an average book in terms of the offering it promises in the synopsis.

 

I give this book 2.75* out of 5.


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Thanks.

 

WRITING BUDDHA 



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