Title: Dark Tales
Author: Venita Coelho
Age group: 15+ years
Publisher: Penguin Random House India
Disclaimer: I am not a big lover or believer of ghosts. But when this book came along, I thought let’s play along, and see what happens.
Well, it’s scary. It’s got twists and turns. It’s not ideal night time reading. I, for one, read it early morning, and lapped it up, story after story.
If there are genres in ghost stories, they are all in here. Along with some strange settings, from Mumbai local trains to park benches to even a graveyard in USA.
The ghost story to die for is Selfie. Mobiles being a big part of our lives, can ghosts be left out of mobile screens?
The Good Wife is set in the most unlikely setting of a simple Indian home. It has dry Indian humour and it’s probably a ghost story you would enjoy reading with a sardonic smile, marveling at the change of events. One could say it’s not scary, rather it’s ironical and satirical.
All in all, these are eleven dark and twisted stories, with a contemporary India thread running through.
Discerning readers will be quick to spot the background of horror against which some of these stories are created. From the Nithari killings to the Nirbhaya heartbreaker.
The poignant summation stays with the reader.
“The room was empty. There were no whispers, no shadows. The children were gone… “
Venita Coelho, an accomplished and exceptionally talented writer, has crafted each story to perfection. Worth a good night time read, if you have the guts.
This book falls under young adult fiction. In my opinion, it is suitable for a mature 15 years+ reader, fond of crime and horror stories. I would recommend the reader/parent to exercise caution as some of the stories are based on disturbing events.
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