Three informers. Murky bylanes of the underworld that hold the key to deadly terror plots. The chase for India's most wanted terrorist. The lives of three of Mumbai police's best informers collide in the shady bylanes of the underworld. It's a bad bad world. A world of crime, sex, drugs, murder and betrayal. He who lies lives to see the light of another day. A day replete with even greater risks. From shady underworld dealings to switching gang loyalties, the men graduate to selling information on terrorism. Then begins the chase...to catch India's most wanted terrorist: Riyaz Bhatkal, the man with the ominous track record of masterminding seven blasts in three years. The search takes them to the most unassuming yet dangerous terror hubs across India. With trust in short supply, time ticking away and the sword of Damocles over their heads, the men can only hope that they are not on a wild goose chase.
He should have seen it coming. His life had been one mishap after another. So he should have been prepared for this one...
Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular former BBC radio producer, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and very different lives, they've never quite lost touch with each other or with their former teacher, Libor Sevcik, a Czech always more concerned with the wider world than with exam results.
Now, both Libor and Finkler are recently widowed, and with Treslove, his chequered and unsuccessful record with women rendering him an honorary third widower, they dine at Libor's grand, central London apartment. It's a sweetly painful evening of reminiscence in which all three remove themselves to a time before they had loved and lost; a time before they had fathered children, before the devastation of separations, before they had prized anything greatly enough to fear the loss of it. Better, perhaps, to go through life without knowing happiness at all because that way you have less to mourn. Treslove finds he has tears enough for the unbearable sadness of both his friends losses.And it's that very evening, at exactly 11:30 pm, as Treslove, walking home, hesitates a moment outside the window of the oldest violin dealer in the country, that he is attacked. And after this, his whole sense of who and what he is will slowly and ineluctably change.
The Finkler Question is a scorching story of friendship and loss, exclusion and belonging, and of the wisdom and humanity of maturity. Funny, furious, unflinching, this extraordinary novel shows one of our finest writers at his brilliant best.
A Fine Balance
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India. The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers--a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village--will be thrust together, forced to share one cramped apartment and an uncertain future.
As the characters move from distrust to friendship and from friendship to love, A Fine Balance creates an enduring panorama of the human spirit in an inhuman state.
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
Two brothers bound by tragedy. A fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past. A country torn by revolution. A love that lasts long past death. This extraordinary, emotionally riveting new novel, set in India and America, expands the scope and range of one of our most beloved storytellers: the Pulitzer Prize-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Interpreter of Maladies and Unaccustomed Earth.
Born just fifteen months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable brothers, one often mistaken for the other in the Calcutta neighborhood where they grow up. But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead. It is the 1960s, and Udayancharismatic and impulsivefinds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement: he will give everything, risk all, for what he believes. Subhash, the dutiful son, does not share his brothers political passion; he leaves home to pursue a life of scientific research in a quiet, coastal corner of America.
But when Subhash learns what happened to his brother in the lowland outside their familys home, he comes back to India, hoping to pick up the pieces of a shattered family, and to heal the wounds Udayan left behindincluding those seared in the heart of his brothers wife.
Suspenseful, sweeping, piercingly intimate, The Lowland is a masterly novel of fate and will, exile and return. Shifting among the points of view of a wide range of richly drawn characters, it is at once a page-turner and a work of great beauty and complex emotion; an engrossing family saga with very high stakes; and a story steeped in history that seamlessly spans generations and geographies. A tour de force and an instant classic, this is Jhumpa Lahiri at the height of her considerable powers.