About the Book:
A dark and unpredictable tale of family secrets… and the lengths we go to, to save the ones we love. For lovers of non-formulaic domestic noir suspense.
For this family, the lockdown came as a blessing.
On 24 March 2020, with merely a four-hour notice, the Indian government declared a three-week lockdown as a containment measure for COVID-19. In terms of scale and severity, this lockdown was unparalleled worldwide. However, quite unexpectedly, for a family of four, cooped up in a plush Mumbai apartment, it came as a blessing.
On the face of it, Suvini, Mridul, Damien, and Tara belonged to an upper-middle-class family, with its typical privileges and pressures. But inwardly, each of them held a dark secret that threatened to derail their very existence. And the shutting down of everything had given them the unique opportunity to get away with it.
Inspired by actual events.
For readers of Herman Koch, Elizabeth Haynes, and Leila Slimani.
Every time Smita tells me that she has written another story, I jump at the chance to read it. I was lucky to get introduced to her two years ago and I have been a fan of her writing ever since. What intrigues me the most is how she takes everyday incidents or current situations and turns them into a complete story, replete with strong characters and an entertaining plot with twists that you don’t see coming.
Shut The Lights is a suspense novel set during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic during the first lock down in India. This was a time of great confusion and uncertainty wherein we did not know what was happening, what to do, how to stay safe etc. Smita took this feeling and situation and turned it into a story that will have the reader on the edge of their seats in anticipation of what happens next.
In this book, we follow an upper-middle-class family as they navigate the lockdown and deal with being confined within the house all the time. We observe their strained interactions while the cracks in their relationships that were barely visible start to come to light. However, the most interesting part of this story is in the twist and how the family comes together, despite the web of lies, as one to protect their own and try to hide a shocking secret.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book as the feelings of the characters and their reactions to a lot of the situations mirrored our own during the first lockdown of the pandemic. The book is relatable in this sense and full of mystery with well developed characters who could be anyone around us. I strongly recommend this book for those who enjoy reading non-formulaic domestic noir suspense as mentioned in the blurb.