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Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Published on: 02/19/20 5:27 AM

Book review: Whisper in the Wind by Venita Coelho

This book is a cracker of a Gothic tale even as the actual nature of the story comes wrapped in gauze. Is it a (tender) ghost story? Is it a (macabre) murder mystery? Is it a (richly) atmospheric thriller? Well,  simply put,  it`s all of these and  some.

Love, betrayal, heartbreak,  revenge, intrigue; chatelaines and servitors living in decadent but neglected mansions,  holding fast  to their scandalous secrets;  a writer in search of a story; a fascinatingly  decrepit old house; one graveyard, one old well and one intensely mysterious character, all as required. Whistling winds, pouring rain, things that go creak in the dark of the night. Coelho takes up all these irresistibly fascinating threads and weaves a tale set in Portuguese-ruled Goa around the time of India`s Partition.

This is actually a picture book set in prose. Within a couple of pages, the reader visualises every single thing they are reading, and soon, it’s a series of verbal montages in slo-mo. Yes, after a while, the surprises cease to surprise the alert reader, and they see the twists and turns coming a few seconds before they arrive, but the atmospheric lushness to the story is an effective page- turner device. That, and the vein of sardonic humour that runs through the narrative, makes the book an  enjoyable read.



book reviewfictionghost storyGoamurder mysterysupernaturalthrillerVenita CoelhoWhisper in the Wind

Sheila Kumar • February 19, 2020

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