Death/Disappearance: Shades of the Same Colour
Wriddhibrata Saha
QUIET IN HER BONES by Nalini Singh Berkle, 2021, 384 pp., $ 27.00
December 2021, volume 45, No 12

Quiet in Her Bones is a thriller by Nalini Singh, set in Auckland, New Zealand, depicting an immaculate and unapologetic insider’s view to the culture and class of New Zealand’s rich and powerful through the incident of a disappearance of a woman from an exclusive cul-de-sac. Using this incident, Nalini Singh carves out an entire world that a missing person can leave behind or open up after their disappearance.

The story begins with a turn of events when Nina Rai, wife to a very powerful Ishaan Rai and mother to Aarav Rai, re-appears many years after she went missing, in her decomposed and skeletal self. Although long gone, Nina was never presumed to be dead, most of all, by her husband and son. Nalini Singh does an excellent job at filling the outline of every character through a trial-and-error method in Ari’s voice, driven with presumption, denial, hope and sometimes, utter frustration as he tries to find out his mother’s killer, disregarding and often bypassing the procedural police investigation. She uses the decade-long disappearance and sudden conclusive appearance to map how past lives grow and sometimes grow apart from the future, causing discomfort above everything else when suddenly thwarted into the face of the new and the current.

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