Book title – Blood runs cold
Publisher – The Hive Pages – 442 Language – English
Author – The hive
Price – ₹ 149/- for the Kindle edition and ₹ 0/- for kindle unlimited subscribers
Available on – Amazon.in
Tell me, what is it that makes your blood run cold? I mean, we all have our hidden fears, born out of our traumas, do we not? Some of our fears could be seemingly irrational ones and yet they stem from those reaches of our soul where rationality does not dwell.
So what is your hidden fear?
Is it the thought of murder or mayhem? Does blood make you cringe? Or, is it the thought of stagnating and suffocating in matrimony? Do you suffer from an irrational fear of the unknown? Or, do you believe that there are some things beyond the realm of this world that control you? Yes, I do mean the supernatural. Do you believe in that?
Hmm…my questions probably got you thinking. That’s what happened to me when I read ‘Blood runs cold’ by the Hive.
The book is a collection of 17 short stories and also some mini-tales. The interesting facet is that all 17 stories are written in the thriller genre. But, is it really ever possible for a writer to write a story in one genre without the overlap of others? Can a thriller be complete without the dose of drama, or without the infusion of horror? I think not. And, that is what comes across in this book as well. So, we have ‘whodunits’ that are injected with sarcastic humour and we have murders that have been infused with a dose of drama. We have stories in which the dramatic thrill comes from the linear build up of horror. But, what is most evident is the hard work that went into this compilation.
Personally, I have always believed that thriller is the most difficult genre to write. There are too many loose ends to tie up in the story. And, unless you tie those ends up, the story falls flat. Another important component in a thriller, for me, is the role suspense plays. That to me is vital.
I loved all the stories in this book but I do have some that stood apart for me.
- An Insidious Affair by Ratnakar Baggi – This is a brilliant piece of work. The story opens in a whodunit and yet as you read, the seemingly unrelated incidents tie-up to gobsmack you. The misdirection that the writer has built in the story, keeps the suspense alive. That riveted my interest.
- Swipe right to Die by Ell P – I loved this story for the Punjabi Aunty in it. Spot on characterization. In fact, anyone who has been raised in North India would know that the fabric of our upbringing is incomplete without the presence on such an aunty.
- ABCD by Varadharajan Ramesh – By the time I came to the end of this story, I could guess who the killer was. But, it was not because the writer left me a clue. It was solely because I adopted a process of elimination. This is the story that I loved most since I am extremely partial to detailing. I love it when a writer not just describes things but also gives a reason for the description. I found that in this story. Brilliant concept!
If you love thrill and are planning to pick up your next read soon – do check this book out. The one advice I shall impart is that enjoy the stories one by one, one at a time. Don’t rush through the book. It’s not a novel; it’s an anthology. Read a story, savour its flavours and let them sit with you a while. Let it percolate, taking you through the emotions that were intended to be conveyed. So, take the entire essence of the story in, before you move onto the next.