GOODBYE GIRL

For a novel that crosses 300 pages Sheeja Jose’s “Goodbye Girl” is remarkably fluid and fast-paced. It opens in Bangkok with a teenage girl waking up to find herself accused of a murder of an American drug-dealer. She has no recent memory and as she and the reader travels through a vortex of fast-paced events and actions each alternate chapter keeps taking us back to a languid life of a kid in an effort to link up the distant and the recent past.

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The structure works beautifully as while in one hand we rush pellmell through a modern city thick with police, crime, underworld, drugs and bloodshed we simultaneously keep getting introduced to whimsical uncles, crazy aunts, caring but stern grandmothers and a childhood so indolent and funny that it feels bad to plunge back into dust and grime of the next chapter.

However we are equally intrigued to find out what, how and whys and find our path along with the heroine as she tries to make sense of the strange predicaments. At last when the jigsaw pieces do fall in place we find ourselves in a passionate first love and an obsession for revenge. The last one-third of the book moves in a single-minded focus as the heroine sets out to settle the score.

The writing is so fresh that it singes with the heat of emotion and pain. The childhood characters are very well crafted and stay with you long after the narrative is over. The adventures are well designed and there’s a surprise waiting at almost every turn. No one turns out to be what they seem like and the plot runs in breakneck speed over heroine’s native place, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangkok and Shanghai. And even at the end of a long journey you are left wanting more.

Its surprising to note that this is a debut novel…or maybe it’s not really that surprising….remembering the freshness brought into a revenge tale. The writer leaves us at a critical point in Goodbye Girl’s life at the end. Her mission is completed but you are left wondering as a bigger crisis looms over her. One fondly remembers the Girl after the book is over and hopes to see a return of her soon.

Book rating 4/5 in Indian Thriller genre.

Publisher – Whitewall Publishers.

Available@  All major book stores in India.

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