Love Kills, Book review, Ismita Tandon


A hardcore romantic person like me absolutely agrees that ‘Love does Kill’ but then it isn’t my story yet. This one is a crime thriller written by ISMITA TANDON

I have read and stood by Ismita’s work right from her first offering ‘Love on the Rocks’.  I remember meeting her in the first book launch at IHC, New Delhi. In person she came out to be absolutely warm and friendly and so she has been forever.  Her first work was naive, unique and promising. When the second one ‘Jacob Hills’  happened,  she emerged as a writer to be taken seriously. Her uniqueness stands out in her work as she always provides unique voices to her characters in the story and glorifies them with caricatures. And amidst the thrillers that she writes, she never misses to touch upon many aspects of life between the lines.

Her third book and the most recent one from her creative bag is ‘Love Kills’. This one is the best from her till date. It elevates her to a new pedestal for sure.


The sketch of the girl who has been murdered aptly qualifies as an eye-catching cover page. Dominance of red color makes for love, passion and murder.  I bet the taut blurb will get you going almost instantly. Lets move on…


It all happens in the place called Monele, in proximity to Ooty.  The protagonist, Johnny Will has a lethal combination of  a master’s degree in psychiatry and a high IQ.  He runs a de-addiction center called Thy Will. The rehab is in the being so that he can help the people get over their lust for alcohol. He desires to revive their senses to judge right and wrong. Johnny knows how alcohol can be dangerous, he had seen his alcoholic father die mysteriously.  He has a girlfriend Mira Kermani, who is a woman of not just games and sex. And more she is a character no less as she happens to be the daughter of the richest man in the town.  More than one in the hill station is not happy with the love birds. Johnny has a family too in the form of Aunt Adele Will and his cousin Zac.  They have been family but Johnny isn’t close to them. Are they happy with their share in the ancestral property or they want more…?

Soon happens the ‘The Kermani Killing‘ and the dreadful Officer Ray is back in Johnny’s life once again. There is a sketch, a perfect clue to the murder just like years ago there had been one to Johnny’s father’s dying body. There goes a news….’ Doctor kills fiancée in a fit of jealous rage’.  The officer gets after everyone’s life and mostly its Johnny on his target. 

Sera, Johnny’s assistant has an eye for him.  What all will she do to take Mira’s  place in his life. While there is family drama and lot of hidden mysteries to unearth, Journal of an Alcoholic, written by Mira’s cousin keeps the readers on their toes.

The below three lines add to the suspense every now and then….

‘Johnny had a little rabbit,

Mira had a fucking habit,

Rabbit died, Mira lied, Johnny cried!’


A murder has been done and its being investigated well but as a reader you would love to don your Sherlock Homes hat. The clues are here and there between the lines. I had enough entertainment, fun and thrill to take from the book.  Crime and passion have a great interplay in the story. The voice of every character is etched out well. The story is crafted artistically. The characters are all white and black and complement the story perfectly.  The storyline is unique and the author has played around with words beautifully.

Confessions of a deranged mind, a chapter in the book connects the dots of the murder mystery quite interestingly.  When you read, you realize there is no plotting and planning in the crime, it just happens at the spur of the moment.  A lie can lead to disasters but whats the lie and who has lied all along, find out for yourself.  Things of the past had much to do with the course of things happening in the present.

The book makes a very enjoyable read. The Author must be applauded for giving us a mature writing piece.


It occurred to me that plot was not meant to be set in India. The characters didn’t seem Indian except the army general who comes in for his treatment at the Thy Will. Also, maybe I say this because I had never known a place Monele before reading this one.


If you have been disappointed with Indian authors for packaging the same old stuff in new bottles, read this one to inhale something fresh and intoxicating.


Written by

Manjulika Pramod

An engineer who loves to be called a blogger more!
Traveler, short-story writer, voracious reader, foodie is the better me!
Reading, eating, traveling, exploring, observing and blogging are the beautiful highs of my life.