This book was only published this week, I got it a couple of weeks ago as a review copy, but have rather a large (virtual) pile of books that I’m working my way through at the moment!
Set in Mumbai (obviously), but often referred to still as Bombay, the story follows two main characters. Inspector Vijay Gaikwad and journalist Jay Ganesh as both try to get to the bottom of the murder of an American businesswoman whose body has been found in the slums stuffed into a red Louis Vuitton suitcase.
The sights, sounds, smells and heat of Mumbai create a vivid backdrop to what essentially feels like a rather old-fashioned ‘whodunnit’. Instead of all the suspects being enclosed in one room, they are enclosed in one city, with the cop and the hack gradually peeling away the layers of intrigue to uncover the truth.
Calamur is obviously extremely fond of Mumbai and his knowledge of the city he was brought up in shines through – both the good, the bad, the wealthy, the slums, its diversity, its elegance and its seediness.
The dialogue was occasionally clunky, and there felt an over-abundance of back-story and partially irrelevant characters that made me think that this debut novel may be intended to be the first in a series following the two main characters. This woudn’t really be a bad thing!
I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it has been published just at the right time as it would be a great holiday read – light but not frothy, descriptive but not hard-going.