Iris

A fleeting tale of love, murder and betrayal

Fiction - Crime
355 Pages
Reviewed on 07/08/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Iris is a work of fiction in the crime genre. It is aimed at mature readers and was penned by Chand Svare Ghei. The book follows the life of Special Detective Kenneth Johansen through a series of excerpts from his life as an investigator as well as glimpses of the person his career has turned him into after work hours. Moving between Kenneth’s investigation that takes him around the globe and his attempt to make sense of his inner thoughts about the world he lives in after the death of his wife, the book depicts both the investigation of a lifetime and the broken man doing the investigating.

The prose and writing style employed in this book are fascinating, choosing to tell the story through events that feel like excerpts from a classically told thriller interspersed with an in-depth character study of the lead character. It’s a bold gamble to tell a mystery story in such a way, but Chand Svare Ghei has the literary pedigree to pull it off. The discussion of philosophy included in the study of Kenneth’s life is of highly spiritual wisdom, but the author is keen not to give readers all the answers to the questions that the book poses. Instead, the ideas of this book must be solved by the reader as if they were an ornate puzzle that requires deep consideration. Iris is an accomplished thriller with an edge of your seat investigation spanning many countries being undertaken by a complex and haunted lead character. It demands the reader pay attention and consider the things it has to say, and I’d happily recommend it to all.

Vincent Dublado

Chand Svare Ghei’s Iris: A fleeting tale of love, murder, and betrayal is a crime thriller that will take you to different parts of the globe as its investigator protagonist, Kenneth Johansen, is faced with a mystery that has something to do with his wife’s suicide. To read it is to experience mounting delight as he gets closer to the truth, and I will tread carefully not to reveal spoilers. As he reviews his wife’s case files, there has been an explicit order from the higher-ups for investigators to stay away from the case. If Kenneth chooses to dig deeper, he must ensure that nobody is aware of it. It appears that a worldwide crime organization called TIGR is on his trail, biding their time to silence him because back in the day he got entangled with this organization and a vendetta is in order.

Iris is filled with moments that will make you nod in approval at the steps that Kenneth takes to get closure in the death of his wife. Motivation plays a huge in the plot, and Chand Svare Ghei’s characterization is well fleshed out and defined. The supporting characters help establish the plot’s milieu by shaping Kenneth’s resolve. Kenneth’s travels to foreign lands have that slow burn feel to the storyline as the narration is not exactly linear. There are even occasions when the story goes into narrating the protagonist’s life as well as some philosophical musings. But everything then converges at a point when he begins to decode clues leading to the truth. The novel has fairly good pacing. Ghei’s writing style is one that, for many readers, will be an acquired taste. Iris is worth reading as it does not disappoint when it comes to the thrill and intrigue that it provides.

Rabia Tanveer

Iris: A fleeting tale of love, murder, and betrayal by Chand Svare Ghei is a crime fiction novel with plenty of action and drama to keep you riveted. Kenneth Johansen was looking for an escape. He wanted to forget his wife Karianne was dead and live his life in an emotionless mess because only that would bring him peace. As a Special Detective on the force, Kenneth had no choice but to return to real life before it was too late for him to return. Lost in grief and alcohol, his salvation came in the form of a mystery that was begging to be solved. Before Kenneth knew it, he was consumed by the current case and was expected to do a lot more than he bargained for. He would travel across the world to find the answers, and in doing so, he might find answers to why his life was destroyed.

Fast-paced, short-chaptered, and interesting, Iris is a murder mystery that had me sitting on the edge of my seat and holding my breath. Author Chand Svare Ghei opened the story with an emotionally down Kenneth who was ready to lose himself, but getting back to work was the right decision for him, even if he was forced by Sara. The emotional highs and lows added depth to the story and made reading this mystery/crime novel even more entertaining. The narrative ran smoothly, even when the author had to jump from one POV to another. There was chaos, there was a mystery, and there was plenty of action to keep me hooked.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Iris by Chand Svare Ghei is a 'fleeting tale of love, murder and betrayal.' Kenneth Johansen is a special detective, struggling to come to terms with his wife’s suicide. He isn’t endearing himself to his colleagues with his failure to investigate cases and not close them but he doesn’t believe his wife committed suicide and tries to push for an investigation into her death. Through a mist of alcohol, he searches for meaning, believing he is stumbling over new clues. But are they clues or is his mind playing tricks on him? Is his denial getting the better of him? Was her death a result of a case he was working on? Take a trip with Kenneth through some of the most defining moments of his life as he fights to solve the case before it consumes him entirely.

Iris by Chand Svare Ghei is intriguing, to say the least. This is not a book for people who want to sink into some cozy mystery and lose themselves for a while. It isn’t a book for people who don’t really concentrate on what they are reading – do that here and you will get well and truly lost. This story is not a detective investigating a case from start to finish; it's not as simple as that. It moves across the highlights of Kenneth’s life, delving deep into his own psyche as he tries to discover what really happened and find the answers he craves. Despite the constant jumping about through the main character’s life, this story is engaging. It makes you want to read more, to understand what’s going on. This is creative writing at its best with some fantastic turns of phrase and a warning – there is mature content so maybe not suitable for under 18’s. If you start this book, I urge you to stick with it – it does all fall into place although it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger.