An enormously satisfying, exciting and enriching book, Vikram Chandra's novel draws the reader deep into the lives of detective Sartaj Singh and Ganesh Gaitonde, the most wanted gangster in India.
Sartaj, the only Sikh inspector in the whole of Mumbai, is used to being identified by his turban, beard and the sharp cut of his trousers.
But 'the silky Sikh' is now past forty, his marriage is over and his career prospects are on the slide.
When Sartaj gets an anonymous tip off as to the secret hideout of the legendary boss of the G-company, he's determined that he'll be the one to collect the prize.
This is a sprawling, epic novel of friendships and betrayals, of terrible violence, of an astonishing modern city and its underworld.
Drawing on the best of Victorian fiction, mystery novels, Bollywood movies and Vikram Chandra's years of first hand research on the streets of Mumbai, this novel reads like a potboiling page-turner but resonates with the intelligence and emotional depth of the best of literature.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 912 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber
- Publication Date: 07/09/2006
- Category: Crime & mystery
- ISBN: 9780571231188
- Paperback from £9.75
- EPUB from £3.99
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Review by broughtonhouse
What an excellent piece of writing. The story is long but able to develop leisurely and explore the characters in depth in their big and polluted pond called Mumbai. Without going into details of the plot, it is skilfully woven around a series of characters at all levels of society, rich and poor, high and low caste, Muslim and Hindu, criminal and downright mad. This book should be read in conjunction with Suketu Mehta's excellent Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, which while a biography of the city and hence assumed to be a reasonably accurate account, has surprising parallels with the apparently fictional story of Sacred Games.