Jacob Hills ~ Ismita Tandon Dhankher ~ Book Review

Image Source: Ismita Tandon Facebook Cover Album

Jacob Hills is yet another fantastic book from Ismita’s pen; having read her first book, ‘Love on the Rocks’, I had a lot of expectation on this and she in fact wrote a wonderful book, which dealt with grave social issues and murder mystery. A fresh read this is!

I have a habit of observing the cover of any book that I read and this one has a lot to offer, bright sunset, a lonely road and a hill to paint a murder mystery in mind and I am sure that one cannot put down the book after reading the blurb of the story.

The blurb:
It’s just another evening at the Tiller’s Club.

Capt. Rana, a Young Officer training at the War College, stands at the bar, deliberately is avoiding his pregnant wife, Heena. Saryu, village belle-turned-modern babe, drink in hand, chats up another YO. Her husband, Maj. Vikram Singh, shoots angry glances at her. The flamboyant Lt. Col. Gary Randhawa and his wife Pam chat merrily with the senior officers – who’d guess that they lead an underground swinger couples’ club?

In a corner stands Eva, the beautiful Anglo-Indian wife of Maj. George Chandy, who finds herself at the heart of a murder mystery. The murdered woman’s body is covered with cigarette burns. A six-year-old girl’s wrist is similarly marked. Another little girl shows signs of severe abuse.

This is Jacob Hills: an army station that houses the War College. A world of genteel conversation, smart men and graceful women. Set in the 1980s – in a country on the cusp of tradition and Westernized modernity – Jacob Hills is the story of what lies beneath the smooth veneer. It’s a noxiousness the Chandys must confront if their love is to survive Jacob Hills.

Now you would agree that it is a good snapshot of what to expect and supports the title with a clear pointer to the army station at Jacob Hills. Being a lover of fragrances and smells (as said in post no. 400), this one was smell worthy!

If you expect me to write about the author, I would first say she is first a fantastic poet, though she tags herself as A Lesser Known Poet and blogging at www.lesserknownpoet.com. A good friend and a kind-hearted person who wants me to get published and I hope I would get published someday soon. Her poem, ‘I Am Beautiful’, won a prize in the Yahoo-Dove IndiBlogger contest and, several other poems have won hearts for her. She’s also the author of the romantic thriller Love on the Rocks, released in 2011. And she is currently working on The Song of the Sufi Masroof, a book of photographs and poems.

After the brief note and before the heart-wrenching prologue, a meaningful poem:

A life without love
Is like a park without children,
Bereft of laughter, of innocence…
Like a temple without God,
A book without a reader,
A man without a woman,
Yet, many a senseless life is spent,
Craving the pleasures of the flesh…

The story:
Like the dogs Bozo and Bullet, she and he and his favourite game, to kiss and burn. He’s a coward and a cowards always stabs in the back. She is found dead with cigarette burns on her body in an old abandoned church in Jacob Hills. Eva, who has moved recently to Jacob Hills with her husband Maj. George Chandy, finds her bleeding badly, admits her in the hospital with the help of Maj. Alex, where she breathes the last. No one is able to identify who the woman is and so she is cremated at government expense. A six-year-old girl’s wrist is similarly marked. Another little girl shows signs of severe abuse. Col. Sampat along with Eva and George resolves the mystery behind the murder and discovers some dark secrets of the residents of Jacob Hills.

This story offers you a lot of things – a newly married couple, child sexual abuse, an ill-mental man, sexual flavours, wife swapping, parties, drinks and get together. In total, Ismita has woven a good decent that keeps you glued till the very end.

Like in her first book, Ismita has many POV’s narrating the story, which I liked a lot as I could see the story through the characters eyes 🙂

PLOT: 4.5/5
TWISTS: 4.5/5

Overall, the story is interesting and well written and talks about the grave social issues; it is a book worth reading, so do check it out.

Book Details:
Title: Jacob Hills
Author: Ismita Tandon Dhankher
Paperback: 259 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (May 2013)
Genre: Mystery
Read: Paperback
Buy on: FlipKart
Facebook | Goodreads

* A heartfelt thanks to IndiBlogger, Harper Collins India and Ismita for sending the book and to my dearest wife for carrying the book all the way to Hamburg, Germany 🙂

** Keeping the review short and simple, as last time I wrote almost the complete story of ‘Love on the Rocks‘ as review 😛

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Jacob Hills is yet another fantastic book from @IsmitaTandon’s pen; a murder mystery. A fresh read it is! Review: http://t.co/KXR9Lo4MxO
— Someone is Special (@FewMiles) September 8, 2013

~ 249 ~ Love on the Rocks ~ Ismita Tandon Dhankher ~ Book Review ~ Someone is Special

Can someone say ‘I hate romantic thriller’? May be you can but I can’t and the words, ‘romance’ and ‘thriller’ invited me to read this book. What is so special about this book? When most of the new age writers stick to love, kiss, sex, break-up and other sorts, ‘Love on the Rocks’ by Ismita Tandon Dhanker is a fresh breezy read.

The cover of the book itself is so refreshing for the readers and it says…

‘What happened to Gary?’
‘He was lying on the floor, dead.’
‘Congratulations, Raghav. Your investigation has reached the next level, from theft to probable homicide!’

“A tree is known by its fruit” and so the above lines and her first poem

The tinkling of glasses, raised to toast,
A room full of sailors, shrouded in smoke,
Senseless chatter and stale jokes,
The rolling of the ship from port to starboard.

Amidst the laughter and voices so loud,
I strain to hear the murmur to fear,
Loneliness that lurks beneath the surface
The countless miles to the nearest isle,

Yet, the festive descend,
Grown men turn little boys, pretend,
This make-believe shall last forever,
Such is the sprint of the brave mariner.

Wow, What a poem Ismita and what an Ode…

The book is about the time spent by Newly Wed Sancha with her hubby, Aaron Angelo Victor Andrews, Chief Officer of Sea Hyena. She boards a ship, along with Aaron and twenty-four crewmembers of Sea Hyena. Sancha accidently meets charming First Officer Harsh Castillo, who is also Aaron’s best friend and fell for his looks, not actually but just in thoughts. She also meets the Captain (Popeye), Baldy and rest of the crewmembers. She learns about the recent death of chief cook (Gary), who was found dead in the meat locker. Followed by it was Kurian’s run-in by dead Gary, his hands was covered with blood of dead Gary. Although the death of Gary was termed as an accident by the Crew Members but when there’s a theft from the captain’s safe on the DJ night, green dollars roughly worth 20,000$, things begin to puzzle her. She takes it on her to investigate the mysteries and all the men come under her doubtful eyes including her husband Aaron.

With investigating officer Raghav’s arrival, her investigation under her doubtful eyes was so deep. She finds the thief to be the person whom she can’t even imagine in that position and learnt about her hubby’s past love Rose. She could not digest her love being cheated and with no option left she finds herself at the cross roads of love, honesty and integrity.

‘How Gary was killed?’ ‘Who stole the money?’ ‘Who found the culprit?’ ‘What follows in Sancha’s life?’ Don’t wait to discover the answers for these questions. Just stop by Penguin Books India and Buy one for yourself. PN: PUBLISHER: Penguin Books ISBN : 9780143414681 Price : Rs. 150

Totally, an interesting plot, the flow of the story is just so awesome and the way the mystery is unraveled is unbelievable. The best point about the book is the story is told from viewpoints of different people, which as a writer I love it so much and it makes the story very interesting for the readers as well. The character sketch of Sancha and Aaron was amazing and the author did full justice to the mystery and thriller sketches that is to be the heart of the novel. I expected many romantic encounters but was disappointed on that note.

And in acknowledgements I read, ‘Torturous manuscript’ ~ this is one of the best scripts I have read so far. ‘Love on the Rocks’, is a romantic thriller that tests the bonds of love and marriage against a backdrop of suspense, murder, so-called suicide and many psychological undercurrents. And when you reach the last page, you will feel worth spending the time reading the book for hours.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5. Ismita Tandon Dhankher Rocks… If you love her book and want to read more of her works? then stop by her blog, A lesser known Poet

+/- ~ I am suprised to see this.. aww.. Thanks Google..