Saturday, 16 June 2018

Book Review: More Bodies Will Fall by Ankush Saikia

Book: More Bodies Will Fall

Author: Ankush Saikia 

Pages: 320 

Read: Paperback edition

Read in: 3.5 hours 

Plot Summary: A girl from north-east India is murdered in Delhi. The main suspect is her 'Indian' boyfriend, but there isn't enough evidence to prove his guilt. Amid a growing outcry about police neglect and racial injustice, detective Arjun Arora reluctantly takes on this case. 

Immediately, he finds himself propelled into a tangled investigation that leads him beyond the hills of Nagaland and Manipur to the Indo-Myanmar border with new suspects emerging at every turn, including an American working at the US Embassy who may or may not be a CIA spy.

The search for answers embroils him in the dangerous new realities of the North-east--riven with strife and suffering--and also brings him face-to-face with an old enemy, culminating in an unexpected climax.

Things I Liked:
  • This is the very first Ankush Saikia book I read and it is the third in the Arjun Arora series. However, it is very easy to get into and at no point did I feel that I was missing out for not having read the first two books. Always a good thing that is! 
  • The premise of this book is very interesting. I am very sensitive to how North Eastern people are treated by most people in our country. Each of the states, or rather, even the tribes in North East India, has a distinct culture and history and if we don't make an effort to learn about that, I believe, we are missing out! So, seeing a book that talked about an unsolved murder of a Naga girl in Delhi was immediately interesting to me. 
  • The book is very well researched and has a lot of nuances about inter-tribe relations and battles between our defence forces and certain tribes, especially, in Manipur and Nagaland. It dives deep into the various types of corruption that goes on along our international borders in the North East and the delicate truce that exists between the Army and the locals. I found all of that very informative. 
  • I liked the way Arjun Arora went out gathering clues about a case that was one year old and, which, seemingly had little to no information to go off on. Arjun Arora is meticulous and I liked the way he went over all the leads and meeting all of the people from Amenla's past. It also showed that a little more digging by the cops would've solved this case, but, I guess, they couldn't be bothered. 
  • The book is very pacy and well written. The action moves from Delhi to Nagaland to Manipur to the Indo-Myanmar border and there are some interesting clues that tie back to the motive behind Amenla's murder. All of the various threads are nicely woven. 

Things I Didn't Like:
  • The motive behind the murder was quite obvious after Arjun makes a discovery quite early on in the case. So, that was not the big mystery. But that's not a big downer because the author does a good job of keeping you guessing about the killer. 

Rating: 4/5 

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