Book Review: The Blue Monsoon, Damyanti Biswas

Book Review: The Blue Monsoon, Blue Mumbai Book 2, Damyanti Biswas

The Blue Monsoon, Damyanti Biswas

Mystery: The Blue Monsoon, Blue Mumbai Book 2, Damyanti Biswas

 

Damyanti Biswas owes me for a night of sleep that I will never be able to collect. I began reading The Blue Monsoon one evening, shortly before going to bed. I finished it around 2:30 the next morning. The frenetic pace of the plot, the fascinating twists, the fully-realized characters, and the epic conclusion deserve to be inhaled, drawn into your mind in one sitting, even if it takes you until the wee hours of the morning to finish.

 

Detective Arnav Singh Rajput is called to the scene of a vicious murder. A body, mutilated beyond recognition, has been left posed on the steps of a temple. The killer seemingly left no clues that might help the police find them. Arnav, though, is worried that this could spark a religious war between Muslims and Hindus. It would not be the first time that battles between the two populations had turned deadly, and it could easily happen again.

 

Meanwhile at home, his wife Tara is dealing with an unexpected pregnancy as well as her confinement to a wheelchair. In the first book of the series, she is critically injured and almost dies. Her recovery has been slow and difficult, and her legs cannot obey her wishes to move. Although she can’t feel any pain in her legs, being in a wheelchair in an apartment while pregnant is frustrating and depressing. Arnav helps as much as he can, hired caregivers and therapists come regularly, housekeepers take care of the cleaning, but Tara increasingly feels trapped.

 

Then, a few days later, another mutilated body on the steps of another temple. Arnav discovers this victim was well known to his family, and the possible threat becomes a real threat when texts from unknown numbers begin to come to Tara’s phone. But who is behind all of this? The Muslim gangster who has returned to Mumbai after fleeing the country? The Bollywood actress and social media influencer who had a video of the first victim posted to one of her accounts? A corrupt police officer? The priest, or his nephew? Someone else entirely? Arnav feels the pressure of raising a teenage daughter, anticipating a newborn, and trying to find a killer before the killer fulfills their threats against him and his family.

 

And both the city of Mumbai and a lingering torrential monsoon rain are characters as well. One lead takes them to a slum that lies in the shadow of expensive high-rises. Pouring rain creates chaos in the crime scenes and on traveling through the city. Mumbai’s diversity of religions, its disparity in incomes, its unspoken (and illegal) adherence to the caste system, all make the scenes come vividly to life. The smells of spices, the taste of the foods, the colors of saris, the choking pollution and open sewage defying legal attempts to clean things up and illegal attempts to cast poor people out, all come to light within this book. Someday I would love to travel to Mumbai, If I do, I may bring The Blue Monsoon to introduce me to this amazing city.

 

Our thanks to Damyanti Biswas for our copy of The Blue Monsoon, along with our sincere apologies to her for taking so long to get this review up. She is a talented and diligent writer, an encourager to other writers, and a philanthropist devoted to helping people in her native country. We hope this book finds the success that it, and she, deserves. 

The Blue Monsoon, Damyanti Biswas

Book Review: The Blue Monsoon, Blue Mumbai Book 2, Damyanti Biswas

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