I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the author.
About the book: An Untimely Love is a thriller-romance novel published in 2010, written by Zimbabwean author Tendai Huchu. It’s basically a combination of suspense, mystery, romance and a dash of terror! You can buy it here.
Summary: An Untimely Love is the story of a suicide bomber, Khalid Patel, who, like the title suggests, falls in love at just the wrong time. The terrorist is caught between fulfilling his mission and saving his new marriage.
“Love can find us in the most unusual of circumstances. This is what happens to Khalid Patel, a terrorist, when he falls in love with Smokey, a feisty and independent young woman who was to be Britain’s first female suicide bomber. On what is meant to be his day of martyrdom, his violent worldview is thrown into turmoil. We share his thoughts as Death and Duty become irrevocably and movingly entwined with Love and Life.”
My thoughts: Suicide isn’t as easy as it seems. The basic thing that I realized while reading the story, is that the love wasn’t all that untimely. The man was about to kill himself; the survival instinct kicked in, and his untimely marriage was like the last desperate attempt to cling on to life. It is pretty justified, that he fell in love with a fellow “martyr”; someone going through the exact same things that he was; someone worth staying alive for. I don’t usually like romance novels, but this one I did like; it’s very believable.
I think it was a great idea to write the story from the point of view of a terrorist; a bad guy. Through the first half of the novel, I kept thinking that the main character was a big hypocrite; but I guess it’s not always that simple. I mean, we too sometimes do things that we have no justification for; that we hate ourselves for doing. Sometimes we just have to get over our mistakes and move on, change ourselves. Sometimes, we realize that we are just pawns in some huge scheme; that we’re in way over our heads. If it could happen to us, it’s easily possible, that it’s happening to many of the so-called “bad guys” out there; just that their mistakes and schemes are a lot bigger. The world isn’t divided into good guys and terrorists. The story made me realize that things just aren’t that black and white. To sum up this blabber, I have to say the story made me think; a lot. I like books that do that.
I also liked the way the writer has focused only on the key characters. The story is centered around a bunch of characters, and it doesn’t stray from them. I would have liked to see the characters develop a bit more, though; I would have liked a better character arc. I also would have appreciated a bit more background info, and a deeper look into the workings of such terrorist groups!
The book is a quick read. What is lacks in prose, it makes up for in the quick pace and the strong plot. I like twist endings, and this one didn’t disappoint me at all! The book is like nothing I have read before. All in all, it’s an enjoyable read!