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The Pact: Jodi Picoult

Two families live next to each other. Two children from both families, Emily and Chris, grow up - almost as belonging to one family - and fall in love. Then comes a gun shot and Emily dies. And Chris is accused of the murder. Nice story. Nice format too - the author uses flashbacks to tell tales of love and family, and the gunshot happens in the first para. But beyond that as with most formula mergers (read love story meets legal thriller) there are holes aplenty. The parent`s response to the murder and consequent dialogues seem too tame. Many an incident seems forced upon the plot just to make it turn (including the end). While certain angles like the sexuality between Chris and Emily being thought of as incest and of parents not knowing their children, are explored grippingly, tend to smack of cliche. Still, Picoult is an expert at that grim build-up writing style and those who loved her My Sister`s Keeper might want to check this one out.

Compiled By Kishi Muzumder, Kenneth Lobo & Savio D`Souza

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