This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kay Brooks
Author of romantic fiction, Ruby Miller, has lost her faith in love. After being cheated on by her fiancé and consoling her friends after endless love-life disasters, she has come to the conclusion that love simply does not exist. On the advice of her concerned editor, Ruby boards a plane to Goa hoping for a week of reviving relaxation with her younger, more adventurous sister, Amy. However, Ruby is about to get a lot more than she bargained for. When Amy decides to elope, convinced she is in love, Ruby has to face the mystery and danger of India in a race to find Amy before she makes the biggest mistake of her life.
Written unusually in the present tense, this is a fast-paced adventure of a novel. Travelling across India, Ruby is introduced to the wonders of famous landmarks, such as the Taj Mahal, the famously spicy cuisine and the undiluted romance of Wedding Season. While the plot is strong and consuming, the description is beautifully colourful and vivid, even where Ruby is off the tourist trail. She sees the rich side to India and the people living in poverty, identifying happiness in both extremes. The characters are, on the whole, likeable and the variety of people she meets on her journey all bring another dimension to the idea of love being a mystery that cannot be solved.Amy does have features of being the stereotypical spoiled little sister but, to balance this out, she also has endearing qualities, such as her love for her Ruby who she freely admits she wouldn’t cope without. Jack is charming and self-assured. Although it is clear that he is a love interest for Ruby, the reader is kept interested by the fact that Ruby is completely oblivious to any signs of attraction or flirtation. Rocky, the driver who accompanies Ruby on the majority of her trip, is a wonderful character, representing all that is different and magical about India. He seems quite naïve when first introduced, but he has a lot to teach Ruby and his simple knowledge proves life-enhancing.
Being a fan of travel fiction, The Love Detective has every factor that I look for in an enticing read. It explores the varying Indian cultures and customs, there are plenty of laughs and a few serious moments that encourage the reader to question the definition of love. There is a definite feel of escapism to the novel, with frequent acknowledgements of spiritualism and mysticism, creating a fantasy-like atmosphere at times before returning to reality. This would be a perfect holiday read, being easy to engage with and difficult to forget once put down.
Alexandra Potter's Website