Inspector Singh Investigates: A Curious Indian Cadaver by Shamini Flint
|Inspector Singh Investigates: A Curious Indian Cadaver by Shamini Flint|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A great location and wonderful characters but the main plot twist is clearly signalled. Annoyingly it could easlily have been avoided, but otherwise a good read.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: April 2012|
|External links: Author's website|
Inspector Singh was on sick leave and rather bored, which was why he agreed to his wife's suggestion (well, she was rather more insistent than that...) that they attend her niece's wedding in Mumbai. There's a little bit of history to this part of the family. The bride-to-be is Ashu Singh, granddaughter of Tara Singh, the wealthy industrialist and his acknowledged favourite. Tara's son ( Ashu's father) was murdered in the uprisings which followed the assassination of Indira Ghandi. He supported the family but made a point that he would not do so beyond the level at which his son (a rather lowly civil servant) could have achieved. Ashu and her two brothers have been secure but not wealthy - and as we join the story Ashu is going into an arranged marriage. There are two unfortunate circumstances here. Ashu is in love with another man - and she's disappeared.
It's quite a while since I last read about what Inspector Singh was doing, but I remember enjoying a book with some great characters, clever use of location and engaging plot twists. I was convinced that I had a treat in store. Sure enough Inspector Singh is no slimmer than he was before and his wife has lost none of her prejudices. It's set in Mumbai not all that long after the terrorist attacks and there's a real sense of the damage that was brought about - and not just on the fabric of the city - along with the determination of the inhabitants of the city not to be beaten. And - unfortunately - there are those who see that what has happened can be manipulated to their own ends.
Then there's the plot. There are some great twists and a few unexpected turns, but - there's a big 'but' coming. I remember reading The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side by Agatha Christie and spotting the murderer and the motivation before I was twenty pages into the book. I spent the rest of it thinking that it must be a red herring only to be disappointed. Much the same thing happened with A Curious Indian Cadaver where the main plot twist is signaled very clearly and - annoyingly - it's something which could so easily have been avoided.
Still, I'm looking forward to Inspector Singh's next case and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
We can wholeheartedly recommend Shamini Flint's earlier book - Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder. For more from Mumbai we can recommend Last Man In Tower by Aravind Adiga and The Elephanta Suite by Paul Theroux.
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