The Blue Monsoon takes readers on an exhilarating journey through the inundated streets of Mumbai. Damyanti Biswas unveils a different facet of this vibrant and opulent city—one that resides in chawls and grapples with divisions of caste, class, and religion. The second book in the Blue Monsoon Series is a continuation of the characters’ lives from the initial book. While it can certainly be enjoyed as a standalone, those familiar with the preceding book will find it easier to connect with the storyline.
Detective Arnav Singh Rajput’s family life is in perils when he commences an investigation into a brutal homicide. The murder seems to bear the hallmark of a cult’s activities. However, as additional facts come to light, Arnav becomes increasingly entangled in the intricate web of this case. Arnav’s wife, Tara, who is wheelchair-bound, is in as much jeopardy as their daughter, Pia. Sita Naik, his capable deputy, along with a network of trusted informants and other police officials, assist Arnav in solving the series of murders that send shockwaves through the city.
The shocking story has a rich atmospheric quality. Visualizing the waterlogged streets, dimly lit chawls, and narrow alleys is effortless even for readers unfamiliar with Mumbai.
As in the prequel, the characters are thoughtfully developed. The multiple narratives enrich the story, adding complexity and enhancing its intrigue. The antagonist’s point of view, written in italics as in the prior book, was captivating and kept me engrossed.
Biswas’s storytelling highlights a range of themes, including poverty, caste discrimination, political influence, child exploitation (without explicit details), and religious tensions. She also delves upon various other aspects of Indian culture.
The unexpected turns and misleading clues made for an exhilarating reading experience.
While the caste divide is a significant aspect of the narrative, I felt the repetitive mention of this issue became tedious. The slow start might deter some readers, but I liked it as it helps in establishing the context and interrelationships between the diverse array of characters.
The Blue Monsoon is a worthwhile read. Aficionados of crime and thriller genres will undoubtedly find it enjoyable.
CW–Murders, dismemberment, child pornography, physical, psychological and sexual abuse.
I received an ARC from the author via NetGalley. My review is honest and voluntary.
Wordsopedia Rating 4.25/5
|Title: The Blue Monsoon||Author: Damyanti Biswas|
|Publisher: Thomas & Mercer||Publication date: 24 Oct 2023|
|Genre: Fiction—Thriller/Mystery||Format: eBook|
|ISBN: 9781662503931||No. of Pages: 394|
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About the author
Damyanti Biswas is the author of The Blue Bar, the first novel in the Blue Mumbai Thriller series, and You Beneath Your Skin, as well as numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia.
Get in touch with the author on her website.