Unfurling: A Tale of Friendship, Love, Mystery & Mayhem by Tia Ray Dhar Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A medical graduate settling into her life working in residency and feeling the lack of a zest for life finds her world rocked when a new friend is found murdered. With suspicion falling on her as they attended a conference together, she must find a way to discover what happened to her friend and clear her name in the process in author Tia Ray Dhar’s “Unfurling: A Tale of Friendship, Love, Mystery & Mayhem”. 

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The Synopsis

Can an unexpected turn of events, including a mystery, guide you towards a sense of purpose in your life?

Mandira Sharma (Mandy) is a recent medical graduate, feeling extremely jubilant that she will no longer have to study diligently for exams and can now start earning. She is not passionate about her residency in internal medicine and feels devoid of a general sense of purpose in life. Currently, her happiness revolves around making new friends and spending time with them, be it at her place of work or outdoor venues.

Her general sense of isolation and disinterest in her medicine residency accentuates when her two close friends go overseas, and someone she loves and cares deeply about decides to part ways.

Trying to cope with the current painful scenario — she navigates through her daily routine devoid of zest or enthusiasm.

During an endocrinology key opinion leader profiling assignment, Mandy meets Latika, a psychology Master’s Student. A friendship develops between the two ladies, stemming from shared interests. Latika invites Mandy to attend a workshop titled “What’s Your Attachment Style,” which piques Mandy’s interest. However, tragedy strikes again, when during a desolate blackout at the workshop venue, two attendees find Latika’s body floating in a pool on the premises. Inspector Geetika and her team launch an investigation into the crime’s motive and modus operandi, and the cohort of meeting attendees, including Mandy, come under the lens of suspicion.

Mandy confronts the grief of yet another loss. She decides to endeavor to assist the inspector in unraveling the solution to the mystery and bringing her friend’s killer to justice.

The plot of this novel is an amalgam of elements of friendship, love, mystery, suspense, and the unfurling of finding solace and fulfillment in a purpose or goal.

The Review

A truly unique and heart-pounding thriller, author Tia Ray Dhar has crafted a wholly original story that blends themes of isolation and loneliness with the mystery and suspense genres. The author does a great job of establishing character growth not only for the protagonist but those she builds bonds with along the journey. The themes of loneliness, depression, and sadness that so many people struggle with for a lot of different reasons felt so relevant and needed, not only to reflect the need for mental health awareness overall but to showcase the depth of the protagonist overall and their struggle to find purpose and meaning in life. 

The mystery and the clues that unravel that mystery little by little were so engaging and entertaining. The shock at the criminal’s identity will be a pleasant surprise for those who enjoy comfy mysteries, and the unique setting and character roster really brought a new level of culture and inventiveness to the narrative. The only suggestion I’d have for the author would be pacing, as the background being established felt like it took up more than half of the book, which made the mystery feel a bit rushed at certain points. Allowing for more time to let the suspense and mystery grow will greatly increase the already staggering heights of creativity the author achieves in this fantastic read.

The Verdict

A remarkable, inviting, and heartfelt mystery and drama, author Tia Ray Dhar’s “Unfurling” is a must-read novel. The suspense the author builds and the effortless way the author delves into these important themes to build their character’s growth was fun to see unfold and will have readers truly invested in Mandy’s journey as a protagonist. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 8/10

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About the Author

Tia Ray Dhar grew up in Canberra, Australia, and Toronto, Canada, and has over 15 years of experience in content creation for biomedical and healthcare communications across India, the US, and New Zealand. The mystery and suspense genre has always enthralled her. She started her fiction reading journey with novels by renowned authors like Mary Higgins Clark, Agatha Christie, Stephen King, Shari Lapena, Alafair Burke, Ruth Ware, and CL Taylor, to name a few. After years of reading, she decided to embark on a fiction writing journey of her own! 

She is a Goodreads author and has two published books in two different genres: A murder mystery novel titled “Unfurling: A Tale of Friendship, Love, Mystery & Mayhem” and a short self-help book called “Don’t Let Your Break-Up be Your Break-Down.” 

Her upcoming plans include publishing a romance novella, followed by few novellas and short stories in the mystery and suspense genre.

She has just started her writing journey and knows that there’s a long way to go. The creative landscape of writing is a space where we continually aspire to learn, engage, enthrall, entertain, and motivate the reader audience. 

Besides being an avid fiction reader, she loves public speaking, photography, rock music (especially from the 80s and 90s), films, theatre, and world history. One of her favorite places anywhere in the world is sitting at a window-side table in a cafe and sipping an Americano, long black, or flat white coffee while reading or writing. 

She enjoys connecting with other readers and writers and participating in social and cultural events for all age groups. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tia.ray.1848

https://www.instagram.com/tia_writer1980/

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