Psychological drama novels are getting in trend in the contemporary Indian fiction and undoubtedly, I find it a good signal for the readers as well as the literature. We already have had enough of ‘usual romance’ and Bollywood novels. A new title which kept my attention was – Burn: Love, Passion, Hate. This novel, rather a sensation, is authored by Christine D’Sylva, an author with name and seven books to her credit. For the very first time in my memory, I have come across such a theme in my reading history (by any Indian author). The drive of the novel Burn comes from a passionate couple who enjoy burning people alive and seeing them burn. Insane, isn’t it?
The blurb of Burn: Love, Passion, Hate suggests that this is a story of Jay and Ashwina, a couple whose bond is marked by a deadly bond – a passionate addiction to playing with fire. Their love is not countersigned by the respective families and the couple runs away. Teenagers who are deeply in love with each other, enjoy their passionate relationship mentally, physically and also deadly. The enter all of a sudden into the boutiques, houses, apartments, cottages and burn the people inside alive… however, their crimes have a certain pattern and that very pattern is the catch of the novel which would best be described only by reading it.
Christine D’sylva has weaved a genuine, different and passionate fiction with underlying themes or with a well-defined subtext. The family of Jay isn’t good either. His mother, especially, is the cause of his fatal attraction to playing with deadly fire, and not only playing but murdering the innocent (?) people. The novel could have been a passionate romance with the sensual depictions it has but it was designed cleverly by the novelist to be something more than a mere passion-driven novel. The criminal angle makes the book a nearly perfect thriller with all the suspense that a reader could demand. Christine has kept the narrative fast moving and also does the necessary exposition at times required which does not the reader either bore or become angry over the turtle plot.
Alok Mishra’s Verdict: