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All reviews are written by members of The H2G2 Bookworm's Club. We hope this review is helpful, and that we'll see you airing your views at the Club soon.

Bombay Ice, Leslie Forbes

We're a well travelled lot at the Bookworm's Club. Though snuggled up under the duvet, my reading is taking me all over the world. Next stop, Bombay, for a tale of murder, incest, alchemy and monsoon storms...

Not only is 'Bombay Ice' an intricate murder mystery, set against the seedy backdrop of Bollywood, but you also learn an awful lot. As regular readers might have guessed, this always earns books a big thumbs up from me. Roz, a BBC reporter discovers her new brother-in-law, movie mogul Prosper Sharma, may have murdered his first wife. Her investigations then embroil him in the deaths of several eunuchs, and she sets out to solve the multiple possible murders.

Like all good whodunits, scientific forensic detail abounds. And it is here that your education begins. I've learnt about so many things from books, from how to politely book a table in a French restaurant to E=mc2. In 'Bombay Ice', you get deep descriptions of entropy, gilding, and monsoon weather. All this science adds to the novels complexity, but it doesn't make it dry and boring, instead serving to enhance the storyline.

Admittedly, there are a few clich├ęs, Prosper is working on a production of 'The Tempest', 'Bombay Ice' takes place during a storm, and lead characters include Prosper (Prospero is the magician who causes the Tempest) and Miranda (Prospero's daughter). Bollywood takes over the book with some passages written like the plan for a film.

There are enough twists to satisfy, and the novel is, to be blunt, a jolly good read. However, I was disappointed that although Roz solves the murder of Sami, the main hijra death, Forbes neglects to tie up the loose ends involving the other hijra's, which would only have taken a small paragraph to do.

So, while the ending is a little rushed, 'Bombay Ice' is an ingenious and complex first novel, with lots of little add ins that are perfectly necessary and informative to read. Quite blissful in it's way...

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Review written by Pinwheel Pearl

11.03.04 Front Page

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