The Night of the Storm: A Novel (Hardcover)
Recently divorced Jia Shad is having a hard time as a single mother raising her 12-year old son, Ishaan. She is also having a hard time deflecting the romantic advances of her sister’s husband. But of more immediate concern on August 25th, 2017, is Hurricane Harvey. Accepting an invitation to stay at her sister's home in Sugar Land, Jia and Ishaan make their way in the rain to join her sister and her extended family. Everyone else in this Sugar Land neighborhood has evacuated except for Rafael, across the street, who joins Jia and the group. When Rafael suddenly dies, everyone starts wondering who was responsible. Then another family member is mysteriously killed as the water starts flooding the house, and Jia finds herself in the middle of a horrible family drama.— Alice
From debut author Nishita Parekh, a fresh take on the classic locked-room thriller, about a multigenerational Indian American family marooned in a house with a murderer during Hurricane Harvey
Hurricane Harvey is about to hit Houston. Meanwhile, single mom Jia Shah is already having a rough week: her twelve-year-old son, Ishaan, has just been suspended from school for getting in a fight. Still reeling from the fallout of her divorce—their move to Houston, her family’s disapproval, the struggle to make ends meet on her own—now Jia is worried about Ishaan’s future, too. Will her solo parenting be enough? Doesn’t a boy need a father?
And now their apartment complex is under a mandatory evacuation order. Jia’s sister, Seema, has invited them to hunker down in her fancy house in Sugar Land, and despite Jia’s misgivings—Seema’s husband, Vipul, has been just a little too friendly with her lately—Jia concedes it’s probably the best place to keep Ishaan safe during the hurricane. With Jia’s philandering ex scrutinizing her every move, all too eager to snatch back custody of Ishaan, she can’t afford to make a mistake.
When Vipul’s brother and his wife show up on Seema’s doorstep, too, it’s a recipe for disaster. Grandma, the family matriarch, has never been shy about playing favorites among her sons and their wives. As the storm escalates, tensions rise quickly, and soon someone’s dead. Was it a horrible accident or is there a murderer in their midst?
With no help available until the floodwaters recede in the morning, Jia must protect her son and identify the culprit before she goes down for a crime she didn’t commit—or becomes the next victim. . . .
About the Author
Nishita Parekh was born and raised in Mumbai and now lives in Texas with her husband and toddler. She is a software programmer but a writer at heart and loves writing about her experiences as a woman and an immigrant. She is an active member of International Thriller Writers, Crime Writers of Color, and Sisters in Crime, and is a #RevPit contest winner. The Night of the Storm is her first novel.
"Nishita Parekh gives the locked-room thriller a fresh take in her debut novel,The Night of the Storm, by putting a multigenerational Indian American family at the center." —Entertainment Weekly
"Wry, funny, and suspenseful. The Night Of The Storm is a wickedly observed murder mystery set against a unique background featuring characters under-represented in Western crime fiction.” —Criminal Element
"A must-read thriller for 2024 is Nishita Parekh’s NIGHT OF THE STORM... Set in Sugar Land during Hurricane Harvey, Parekh’s debut features a multigenerational Indian-American family who find themselves trapped by floodwaters in a house with a murderer — an inventive update of the classic “locked-room” mystery."—Houston City Book
"A fresh take on the classic locked-room thriller" —The Nerd Daily
“Parekh’s impressive debut combines a variation on the locked-room mystery with social commentary on the immigrant experience and the role of women in Indian culture.” —Booklist
“The Night of the Storm opens with a hurricane and grows tenser with every page as a single mother and her child find themselves sheltering in place with a killer. Parekh augments this pulse-pounding premise with brilliantly drawn characters who must navigate family secrets, betrayals, and the cultural complexities of being an immigrant in America. I was riveted the whole way through!” —Ana Reyes, New York Times bestselling author of The House in the Pines
“A story of natural--and unnatural--disaster that simmers with dread from start to pulse-pounding finish. Nishita Parekh breathes fresh life into the locked-room mystery with beautifully rendered single mom Jia Shah, her ferocious love for her son, and her sharp exploration of the pressures faced by immigrant women and mothers. Atmospheric, gripping, and satisfying--a debut thriller not to be missed.” —Katie Gutierrez, nationally bestselling author of More Than You'll Ever Know
“This dazzling and multilayered thriller has everything: a brilliantly twisty plot laced with intelligent social commentary, a stormy and claustrophobic setting, and characters who leap off the page and into your heart. It's a thoughtful story of sisterhood, the ups and downs of single parenting, and the complexities of starting fresh in a new place...and at the same time, a wildly entertaining thriller filled with secrets and mayhem that will keep you guessing until the final page. I loved it and I can't wait to see what Nishita will write next!” —Abi Daré, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl with the Louding Voice
"Parekh's impressive debut combines a variation on the locked-room mystery with social commentary on the immigrant experience and the role of women in Indian culture.” —Booklist (STARRED REVIEW)
"This locked-room mystery’s strength is its setting and the atmospheric tension created by the hurricane.” —Library Journal
“Nishita Parekh's debut deftly blends suspense and family dynamics in a way I've never read before. I was immediately hooked from the first pages and flew through the story in a single sitting. Readers everywhere will root for Jia on her journey of motherhood, survival, and identity. I can't wait to read what Parekh writes next. The Night of the Storm is a fresh and gripping story that shows Parekh is a talent to watch!” —Saumya Dave, author of What a Happy Family and Well-Behaved Indian Women
“The Night of the Storm is a haunting and claustrophobic mystery where the tension and suspense are as high as the floodwaters that threaten to unravel a family's secrets. Nishita is a gifted writer to watch.” —Wanda M. Morris, Anthony-award winning author of Anywhere You Run and All Her Little Secrets
"The Night of the Storm achieves an impressive feat of being a suspenseful page-turner and a considered exploration of identity, migration and motherhood. Family secrets, sibling rivalries and intergenerational conflicts are given life-or-death stakes in this taut and propulsive novel."
—Balli Kaur Jaswal, author of Now You See Us and Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
"A heart-stopping, fast-paced murder mystery wrapped up in family drama that is irresistible. A Desi “Clue,” this story dives into the life of an immigrant woman trying to survive, while all around her people are struggling under the weight of cultural expectations. I couldn’t stop reading this and want more from Parekh!”
—Amina Akhtar, author of Kismet and Almost Surely Dead