This is a well written book and I found it especially fascinating with descriptions of Bombay, India and its characters. Though the protagonist, Miranda, is a reporter, she decides to investigate an old death of a woman who was married to a famous Indian director. Now her sister is married to that man and Miranda fears for her. Though there is no direct evidence, except some vague reference near the end linking the director to his first wife's death, Miranda keeps trying to fit the facts to her desired end which is to make the director a murderer. Even when her investigation leads down different paths does Miranda keep her main "guilty" party as the culprit. This made no sense to me except of a woman with an obsession. In a way, Miranda's depiction as a cold human being is fascinating at times. I found myself wondering what other trouble she was going to get into next. So if you like tough, emotionless protaganists and the depiction of other cultures this is a book I'd recommend. Then again, you may find yourself likeing Miranda for her chutzpah; all the better.
I have to admit that I did not finish this book. It's beautifully written and the story is interesting; I just found the style -- a sort of South Asian magical realism -- difficult to penetrate in the context of a mystery.
That having been said, I think I would have enjoyed the book (and probably finished it) if it had been marketed as regular literature. I was SHOCKED to learn that the author is Canadian -- she has captured the crushingly humid, crowded atmosphere of pre-monsoon India perfectly.
If you think Vikram Seth, Salman Rushdie or Isabelle Allende should write mysteries, you will LOVE this book. If you're a fan of the traditional, linear mystery novel, it's best to enjoy the book for its word pictures and elegant language.
Harper's Bazaar called it riveting and that was right on the mark.
Mysteries are not my favorite genre, and that is why I chose to have this as audio book. It's OK, but as with most mystery books, I wished there was more character development.
What happens when the glitzy world of moviemaking Bombay meets the gritty conventions of film noir? With luck, something like this dazzlingly ambitious novel from Canadian journalist Leslie Forbes. "I haven't seen the eunuch in almost four weeks. Ignore what I wrote you before. No need to come here and rescue me," Miranda Sharma writes her sister from Bombay, in a disconcertingly "schizophrenic" postcard that sends Rosalind Bengal across continents and deep into a world where nothing is what it seems. Part Scottish, part Indian, Roz is a crime journalist who can't help following a good lead when it appears, especially when her sister's welfare is at stake. Miranda recently married one of the Indian film industry's most prominent directors, Prosper Sharma, a man who's spent 20 years working on a movie version of The Tempest and who is rumored to have murdered his first wife. After her postcard, four hijra--eunuchs or transvestites--are found drowned in an eight week period, one of them with alleged connections to the film industry. Coincidence or not, Roz feels compelled to investigate.
What follows is a most unusual thriller, and not just by virtue of its setting. Crackling with wordplay and allusion, and set against a city that resembles nothing so much as a stage set under construction, the hyper-literate Bombay Ice sports influences ranging from Shakespeare to Sunset Boulevard, chaos theory to Raymond Chandler. In between meditations on alchemy, entropy, and the science of weather, Forbes constructs an intricate story charged with all the tension of the coming monsoon. The result is never less than interesting, even when, as occasionally happens, the book's intellectual concerns threaten to overpower its plot.