Year of publishing: 2017
Beautifully titled ‘Switched Off’ literally meaning the light that got switched off, the phone that remained switched off and metaphorically meaning the death of Mr. Ram Bahadur Gurung aka RBG in the book, the author tries to weave the story around the mysterious death of RBG in a plot that has its own twist and turn of the events.
Author Karma Tenzin, most famously known as Dasho Yongba brings to us the central characters Max –the police officer on investigation of the death of RBG-Ram Bahadur Gurung, a Lhotsampa man who is Seday’s Boyfriend,
Seday- Mistress of Karma Rinzin and lover of RBG and Karma Rinzin- A senior civil servant and a happily married man with children but in affairs with Seday.
The book starts with the missing of RBG and is filled with suspense as Max gets into the task of finding out the reasons behind his sudden disappearance. As you read on and meet other characters like Seday and Karma Rinzin who intricately weave a tapestry of thoughts and actions leading to their connection with RBG, one is but left with the thought as to who could have committed the murder of RBG.
The suspense slowly begins to unfold as we get introduced to other characters like App Zigtoo, Azha Hagu, Bago Tashi and all. It is like how one thing leads to the other and finally to the utter surprise of the readers, the author points out how RGB was wiped out of the scene.
An excerpt from the book reads like this:
So far the case ran thus:
-RBG had gone missing.
-RGB was poisoned to death.
-The deceased had no adverse records.
-The deceased was Seday’s last boyfriend.
-Relation between Karma Rinzin and Seday turned sour.
-Karma Rinzin tried to find his rival without success. He was jealous and restless.
-Seday got pregnant and RBG was responsible.
-Pregnancy was terminated in India.
-Karma Rinzin knew nothing about this.
-This probably happened as Seday had no future with Karma Rinzin and she was trying hard to break away from him without hurting one another.
So the central theme of the book revolves around the missing of RBG and that he had gone missing as he was poisoned. But who could have poisoned him and what could have been the motives? Through the investigations carried out by Max, readers are introduced to the nuances of the police investigation in cases such as murders and tells the readers that ultimately truth reigns and one cannot run away from the consequences of your own actions.
The book depicts the ordinary ways of life and the relationship that exists in today’s time indicating the nature of human beings and the complexity and the simplicity of the relationship in which we are entwined with.
With three other published books in the author’s name such as ‘The Restless Relic’, ‘The Darkest June’ and ‘The Barnyard Murder and Other Stories’, this is yet another feather in his cap. In fact, this is one of the first fictional Bhutanese book depicting suspense, investigations and revelations. The suspense is so killing that once you start reading the book, you wouldn’t want to stop in between. You are made more curious with each leads that Max comes up with and you want to know who exactly murdered RBG or was he really murdered or did he just consume the poison on his own will.
The book has a list of glossary at the end for local and regional words, which makes it more reader friendly for the international audience too. The cover design is done beautifully and in it self leaves the viewers with a sense of suspense.
Written in 136 pages in a very clear layout and reader friendly letters, it is a book that can cater to the taste of every age level and every reader both locally and internationally.
So grab your copy now, own it and read it.
The book will be launched on 8th July 2017 by Her Royal Highness Ashi Sonam Dechan Wangchuck at the BCCI Hall.
Voracious Reader and Passionate reviewer of books.
She can be contacted at: www.karmachoden.wordpress.com