Whispers in the Wind
Whispers in the Wind by Venita Coelho is my first Gothic fiction novel. I run away from the Gothic horror genre. You can call me faint-hearted, but I seldom get myself to read horror. I picked up this one only because my book dragon buddy insisted that it is a mild one. And she was correct. As, I was able to handle all the eeriness the wind was creating. Now I know exactly what kind of Gothic novels I would love to read and can upgrade gradually.
Story in Brief
The story starts with Jamshed Irani arriving in Goa's village for some serenity and solitude to write his first novel. But little did he know that the house he has decided to stay was full of mystery, and soon would embroil him in a goose chase of a missing girl named Sara. Many secrets are waiting to unearth.
Suspense in the Air
The author's style of building up Sara's story was fantastic. Little by little, in bits and pieces, Jamshed searches for the puzzle pieces, and try to fit them together to get a wholesome picture of the scenario. To my delight, the author has adopted various techniques to put forth the story of Sara, rather than just telling it plaintively.
I loved the way, and out of nothing, Jamshed finds himself sucked into the mystery of Sara. With him, even I found myself drowning deeper and deeper into the suspense and got hooked to the story in no time. Eager and restless to know what becomes of Sara.
The story has a right blend of all the Gothic novel elements like suspense, fear, murder, blood, mystery, and of course, there was a subtle presence of horror as well. Horror was not the predominant element. It makes its presence felt at times, to give an eerie, and unnatural feeling when you wait with bated breath for something about to happen. And the author doesn't disappoint. There was a tinge of romance as well.
Characterization was also superb. You will know the characters from Jamshed's viewpoint as he is the narrator of the story. Each character adds further suspense to the novel, intensifying the mystery and carrying the story forward.
Drags in the End
But I was a little disappointed towards the climax. The narrative dragged towards the end. The author delayed the revelation on purpose. The suspense lost the grip, and I figured out the most crucial surprise element much before it became apparent. I didn't gasp at the reveal of the entire mystery, but it all falls in the place with no loose ends.
Nevertheless, the story was a solid one and near-perfect execution. The author's stunning ease to create vivid scenes enhanced the whole reading experience. It was almost witnessing the turn of events with the naked eyes.
I was delighted to read it. Hardcore readers of the genre might not get hooked so easily, but the author's writing style and solid storyline will see them through. Beginners of the genre like me will enjoy every bit of it.