Disclaimer: I don’t normally do book reviews….so bear with me!
Having by chance followed Kiran Manral on Twitter, I came to know about her first book. I restrained the temptation of reading other reviews posted via Twitter and purchased The Reluctant Detective while on a short break to India from the OM Bookshop.
Kay, short for Kanan, is the central character of the book, a thirty-something suburban housewife on murder trails while managing family life. The book opens with Kay facing a women’s worst nightmare, what to wear for an evening party. Straight away we get some sort of visual of Kay with her reference to her tripple-support harness like bra or how she wishes she could snip away inches of cellulite. Nonetheless, Kay is a busy mum of a five-yr old boy, Kabir and wife of a pragmatic and what seems a BlackBerry addict husband. One can’t help realising that by the end of the first chapter, you have a very good idea of Kay’s wardrobe and the book continues to make references to this, co-ordination, it seems is omni-important. Certainly my female counterparts would better enjoy descriptions such as off-white linen drawstring pants, with a coordinated tunic top or chocolate-coloured satin pyjamas.
The book has nice moments of humour, with references to Kay trying to understand the wrestling lingo by her son Kabir, or the debacle around the pepper-spray incident.
At times you do forget that this book is centered around two unfortunate people being murdered, however there are short references throughout the chapters to keep the reader in touch. Hence the book does exactly what it says on the tin, our so-called detective is indeed very reluctant and therefore you are left wondering what route this book is taking at times. In fairness there is no real suspense behind the motives, although you do feel a sense of justice being done when the truth comes out.
Having followed Kiran Manral’s tweets over time, I do ponder the question of how similar the characters life is to Kiran in reality. Is this book really about the authors daily life, the school drop-offs, the morning jogs, the socialising with friends and keeping up of appearances? With the added bonus of a murder or two thrown in?
Anyone who genuinely writes from the heart and manages to publish their book deserves a huge pat on the back. This book is a good first attempt at story writing and I for one will be looking forward to her next book.
Well done Kiran.