Saturday, 12 November 2016

Book Review: Chain of Custody by Anita Nair

Book: Chain of Custody

Author: Anita Nair

Pages: 365

Read: The paperback pictured above

Read in: 2-3 hours

Plot Summary: Bangalore's Inspector Gowda is back in another nail-biting thriller. 

What does thirteen-year-old Nandita's disappearance have to do with the murder of a well-known lawyer in a gated community? Gowda is soon embroiled in the investigation of a child-trafficking racket. 

Negotiating insensitive laws, indifferent officials, and uncooperative witnesses, he is in a race against time to rescue Nandita from one of the most depraved criminal rings he has ever encountered.

Things I Liked: 

1. I enjoyed Anita Nair's first foray into crime fiction- Cut-like Wound- and was quite excited to read the second book in the Inspector Gowda series. 

2. The book is quite well written. Nair is a competent writer and she does justice to the three distinct crime-relate plots in the book as well as snippets of Gowda's personal life. 

3. The central crime in this book is actually a murder of a famous lawyer and around that murder are related incidents of human trafficking. Gowda's maid's 12 year old daughter is kidnapped and through her eyes, we get to see snippets of life at a brothel run by these traffickers. I liked that the author has attempted to show three aspects of the whole human trafficking trade- one for labour, one for prostitution and the other is a more "high class" escort services. 

4. This is a very realistic book. There are no perfect resolutions to various tragic situations involving children, which is how it really is in our country, unfortunately. The police procedures, the interference of politicians and influential business people to stall investigations and the undying efforts of NGOs to fix things within this horrible, broken system. 

5. The investigative process was decent- not the best that I have ever read but not the worst. There were no major red herrings and several "plot twists" were eminently guessable. 

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. Like I said, there is no major big mystery in this book. The central murder mystery is completely relegated to the back burner as the police team chases leads in their search for 12-year old Nandita. I don't mind a quick paced book on child trafficking but this was not that fast-paced and was quite predictable. 

2. This was a slightly depressing book, I won't lie! There is a not-so-nice development from the first book, which has still been left open and unresolved even at the end of this book. Plus, the 'real killer' in this book, pretty much gets away scot free. Ugh. Don't like such books. We read fiction to escape from our sucky reality and this book didn't deliver that. 

Rating: 3/5 

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