Travel, Lifestyle, Review Blog

Book Review- Missing Presumed Dead


Missing Presumed Dead is written by Kiran Manral and published by Amaryllis. This is a fiction and falls under the thriller genre.



Battling both a fractured marriage and the monsters in her cranium, Aisha leads a sequestered life on the outskirts of a town in the hills of North India. She struggles to stay functional and tries to wean herself off the pills that keep her from tipping over the edge. Meanwhile, Prithvi the husband she once loved, seems as eager to be rid of her, as she is to flee from him. Only her children keep her tethered to her hearth.

One rainy afternoon, Heer, Aisha’s half-sister, her father’s illegitimate daughter from another woman, appears. Despite her misgivings, Aisha lets her in, and she stays over. Two days later, Aisha goes into town and never returns. Seemingly unperturbed, Heer slips into her missing sister’s shoes effortlessly, taking charge of the house, the kids- even Prithvi, who responds to her overtures willingly.

A note found in Aisha’s wallet states that she has killed herself, although strange happenings leave room for doubts. But, if she is not dead, where is Aisha? Did she really commit suicide? Has she been abducted, or is she in hiding? Why does Prithvi not grieve for his deceased wife? And why does Heer vanish without a trace one day, leaving no forwarding address?

Examining the destruction a dystopian marriage and mental illness leave in their wake, Missing, Presumed Dead confronts the fragility of relationships, the ugly truth about love and death, and the horrifying loss of everything we hold dear, including ourselves.


One liner for this novel- Peep into hell. We have often heard about mentally ill patients, this book gives you a glimpse into their world, where they keep on swinging between two extreme ends. At times they will be too happy, other times too sad. The story also delves into the dynamics of marriage. Author has mentioned beautifully, at 20’s we cannot imagine living without a particular person, at 40’s living with the same person feels like a pain and torture.

The mental illness does not affect a particular person, it can shatter a complete family.  The husband is unable to handle wife, children are afraid of their mother’s mood swings. In a way it is hell for the children, to live in such an environment.

The story also highlights the fact, if the interpersonal relationship of husband-wife is not good, then the society can very well take advantage of the situation. At times, we innocently share our plight with others, without realizing that it can be used, manipulated against us. The best takeaway from this book is, the family should always watch each other’s back. If the marriage is going downhill, it is important to address those issues before things get blown out of proportion.


Aisha is trapped in a loveless marriage. The only thing that keeps her going is her two kids. She is totally cut off from the world and lives in a world created by her mind. Prithvi, her husband is equally frustrated with the marriage, he prefers spending more time in the office rather than at home. They sleep on the same bed but maintain a safe distance from each other. Aisha’s mental illness plays an important role, in deteriorating the marriage further. Suddenly a girl turns up at Aisha’s door, claiming to be her half-sister, reluctantly she let her in, without realizing she is opening door to her family’s disaster. The author beautifully highlights through the story, if any of the spouses fall for the wrong person, then the family is doomed.

One day Aisha went to the town to fetch her parcel, but landslides and riots prevent her from returning back. She meets a stranger in the town and decides to stay at his place until things get sorted out. Was it a simple help offered by the stranger? Was someone keeping a tab on the family since long? Has Prithvi hired someone to eliminate Aisha? Want to know what happens next, then pick the book.

Why should you read the book:

  • Good plot
  • Crisp Editing
  • Thriller


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