Missing, Presumed Dead: Beautifully written story

Kanchana Banerjee
5.0 out of 5 starsBeautifully written story!!
29 July 2018
Format: Paperback
this is a story of a woman and her mental illness, the demons in her head that destroy her life and that of the others in her life. Aisha is a patient, needs medication to be controlled but loves her children who love her but know that they need to lock the doors and stay away from their mother when the demons are unleashed. You will feel the pain of the characters and will pause to think about their fate. A hauntingly beautiful story of a tormented soul. your heart goes out to Aisha as she tries to stay lucid but is unable to do so. the author writes with a confident pen.
Aisha’s half sister Heer makes a sudden appearance, bringing back a host of painful past memories. there’s a storm in the house and outside. she needs to go to the town and is unable to return because of the havoc created by the rain. what happens to her? does she return? what happens to the kids and her husband Prithvi? does he love her or is he just waiting to be rid of the mad wife so that he can live in peace? this is also a story of the slow death of a marriage and how that leaves both the partners in pain. In the end, the author leaves a few loose ends for the reader to mull over and complete the pattern. the story will stay in your thoughts long after you’ve finished reading the book.

Reader review on Amazon here

In The Quint:A literary rainbow: An array of inspiring authors across genres

Honoured to be in some glorious company, thanks Vikas Datta for the mention.

“For romance and relationships, in both their light and dark versions, there is no one to beat the irrepressible Kiran Manral, whose versatility is only matched by her prodigious and regular output. From “All Aboard” to “The Face at the Window” to the latest “Missing, Presumed Dead”, she can delight and chill you.”

Read the entire article here

A Chilling World Indeed: #MissingPresumedDead reader review on Amazon

Customer Review
5.0 out of 5 stars A Chilling World Indeed
By Dipali Tanejaon 26 July 2018
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Kiran Manral’s latest book, ‘Missing, Presumed Dead’, is both riveting and hard-hitting. It explores the complexity of relationships in which mental illness is an active component. It is often painful to read, but impossible to put down! Kiran depicts complicated relationships between the protagonist Aisha, (who witnessed her mother’s descent into insanity after her husband left her for another woman) with her own children, who love her immensely and yet are terrified of her mood swings, as much as they fear their father’s rages, or with her husband, who used to love her passionately but now seems hard pressed to deal with her mental issues, each nuance is described with great feeling. The complications begin with the arrival of Heer, whose uncanny resemblance to Aisha adds another layer to this dark mystery. Set in a remote, mountainous part of the country, with complex characters carrying the burdens of their own past, this is a truly gripping story.

Read it on Amazon here

“I wanted to tell the story of a woman who went away..”

And here’s the inspiration behind #MissingPresumedDead on Paromita Goswami’s blog. Thanks Paromita for the lovely interview.

“Many a times, inspiration strikes you when you least expect it. You don’t even think of it as inspiration. At others it marinates within you, settling deep within your brains, snaking its tentacles around your thoughts until you can’t help but write the story that demands to be written.

For me, Missing, Presumed Dead was the second. It all began, I think with the Chinese whispers of a woman of distant acquaintance, who one fine day out of the blue, upped and left home. She never returned. She was never found, nor did the husband attempt to find her. No missing person’s complaint was filed. She left behind two children, both rather young. The son was a toddler, the girl was older. The grandparents moved in to take care of the children, the husband didn’t get married again. Of course, we moved away from that neighbourhood, and that story went the way all stories go, into the filing cabinet of my brain. It wasn’t until much later, when I was married and had a child of my own that one fine day I thought about what must have compelled a woman to go away and leave her children behind. It was something incomprehensible to me. What made living with her husband and children so unbearable that she would rather disappear to never be found again, what was her story, why was there no attempt to track her, was there something, we, the onlookers didn’t know, was it an amicable separation, was it a loveless marriage, was there sexual incompatibility, was there emotional abuse, or was there someone else she loved and went away with.

Women’s stories are often secondary in a marriage. Their stories are told through the prism of being a wife, a mother. I wanted to tell the story of a woman who went away, and explore why, despite her life seeming so perfect on the surface of it, she never came back.

That’s what happens with my protagonist Aisha, she goes away, unwittingly, and never comes back. Her husband doesn’t file a missing person’s complaint for her. Her children, bewildered at the loss of a mother, pick themselves up and try to cope the best they can. What compelled Aisha to stay away, why did she never come back, how marriages can become stifling cages, her battle with mental illness, these and more make up the book, Missing, Presumed Dead.”

Read it here

Order your copy here

“A conspiracy thriller down to its rather shocking but unresolved end…” Missing, Presumed Dead review

Vikas Datta of IANS reviews my latest, Missing, Presumed Dead

“…Manral deftly turns the narrative from her female protagonist to the male to show how mental illness — and the lack of trust and the vulnerabilities it engenders — may send even the sane into an equally lethal labyrinth.

In one way, the book seems as a conspiracy thriller down to its rather shocking but unresolved end — but like life mostly is, the versatile author, who has everything from frothy romances to spine-chillers, gives it a wider canvas.

This she manages in everything from lifestyles of dissolute landlords of yore, some evocative descriptions of paranoia, some steamy sex, and some vivid descriptions of characters who show they are not what they seem, and the rather oleaginous police inspector and the sceptical lawyer with his unpalatable life lessons lend heft.

And the “50 Shades of Grey” and Harry Potter references are an inspired touch.

But overall, what marks Manral’s work is her judicious handling of a key issue, without taking sides, while focussing on how identity, trust and support are key to relationships, not lust or benefits.”

Read the entire review here
Thank you Vikas Datta for the kind words about Missing, Presumed Dead

Review: ‘Missing, Presumed Dead’, by Kiran Manral

“Manral creates an eerie atmosphere of tension and suspense, with an undercurrent of menace adding to the constant sense of impending doom. Her characters, unreliable and unpredictable, intensify the feeling of unease, drawing you into the intricate web of lies and deceit they have woven, even as, conversely, the vulnerability of the missing woman evokes your sympathy.

The prose here is strong, the style racy, and the writing effectively blends action with memorable characterisation, with the twists and turns making it a thoroughly gripping, chilling crime tale. A perfect monsoon page-turner.”

Thanks Archana Pai Kulkarni



via Review: ‘Missing, Presumed Dead’, by Kiran Manral