Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews
Most events in the sub-continent are replete with intrigue, and spin forth numerous conspiracy theories and whodunnits especially when a political leader or a celebrity is murdered. Often it becomes difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff, and after you read Sabyn Javeri’s Nobody Killed Her you may, like me, scratch your head and say ‘Huh, is this true?’
Because the story sounds like that of Benazir Bhutto, the erstwhile prime minister of Pakistan who was killed by a suicide bomber, whose greedy husband had constantly undermined her authority in the conservative state and staked a claim to the ‘throne’ after her murder, and the mystery of whose death has never been resolved.
We may never know the truth, but Sabyn’s novel begins when Rani Shah’s convoy is hit by a suicide bomber, killing her instantly. However, her confidant Nazneen Khan, the low born servant girl who rises through the ranks to become her personal assistant escapes death. That raises suspicion, and as the court case proceeds against Nazneen small, gory details make their way into public. Of Rani not being the strong person she was projected to be; of her marriage to a greedy, philandering crook Balgogi, of her lack of judgement, of lack of focus when she became a mother, of her cruelty and spite. The victimised servant girl also is not what she seems, and stories emerge of her manipulative, scheming methods to undermine Rani’s authority, of trying to grab what does not belong to her, of jealousy, violence and staunch loyalty.
Nobody Killed Her is quite a unique book – with strong female characters, who also suffer from insecurity, indecision, anger, jealousy and everything else that makes them relatable and human!
You will know in the surprising twist in the end! So be prepared to re-read it again to figure what clues you missed! Just as I did!