How a UAE-based finance consultant took solace in writing thrillers and mystery novels

The author talks about his latest novel


Somya Mehta

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Published: Thu 2 Mar 2023, 7:39 PM

A finance and management consultant by profession, Rajiv Shah has been an active part of both social and professional organisations in the UAE. While his day job requires immersing himself in numbers and business operations, Shah has always been enamoured by the power of creativity. Having a strong penchant for the stage, including acting and singing, Shah has been an active member of the performing arts scene in the country. Getting in touch with his creative side has also allowed Shah to write two novels. The author is working towards writing a series of five thrillers involving themes of romance, suspense and murder mystery. His first novel, Forever, explored the theme of love, while his recent novel, Forbidden, explores the theme of having a mid-life crisis.

How did you interest in writing and performing arts take root?

I had been writing small bits and pieces of literature over a period of time. However, I never really imagined I would become an author. It was only around 2016 when I first put pen to paper to write a story. At that time also, I did not think the story would be converted into a book. I have been a stage actor and have enjoyed singing and dancing. These performing arts interests have helped me construct the plot.

How do you balance a career in finance alongside a creative profession (the two worlds seem to be far removed from each other)?

It has been a very unique experience for a finance person to write about romance and mystery and I think I found my alter ego in writing books on subjects completely different from my academic pursuits. I believe we all have diverse interests within us, but not often we take the initiative to follow these. Once you decide to follow your passion, you will automatically find time to make good of it. My theory in writing a book is simple – ‘write a page a day’ and within a year you will have your book in your hands.

What made you want to explore the 'thriller' genre for your novels?

I never thought I would write romantic fiction or murder mystery, but when I wrote Forever, I thought it was possible. I am writing a trilogy now and with Forever and Forbidden being the first two books in the series. The idea is to write these books with a very important social message. Forever was about love versus lust. Forbidden is about mid-life crisis. And my future books will also contain some sort of a social message while being romantic thrillers. In today’s OTT world, thriller is a genre that works the best, and I intend to keep writing in this genre as I wish to develop an OTT series on these books in the future.

Your book focuses on mid-life crisis as a theme. How do you define this?

Forbidden is a book on love and can be classified as a ‘love tragedy’. It has its moments of love, romance, humour and suspense. One can falter in love and the consequences can be devastating not only for the fallen but also for the people around him.

In this case, the protagonist Karan, a married man, falls in love outside marriage and the story deals with the problems he faces in his life due to this. This is a crisis created by insecurity in a marriage and feeling of incompleteness in a relationship. The book delves on this topic from a perspective of all people involved in this quagmire.

Lastly, what else can we expect from your latest novel?

Forbidden is a good mix of romance, thriller, murder mystery, humour and complications of relationships. It is a roller-coaster ride till they solve or read the mystery of who killed Karan. A significant portion of the book is based in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. So, readers in the UAE will enjoy that part of the story based here. In a time when people are losing the habit of reading, it is my effort to rekindle that trait again.

Forbidden can be purchased through and

(Kindle Edition)

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