Mumbai Noir

Edited by Altaf Tyrewala. Akashic, $15.95 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-61775-027-4
Most of the 14 short stories in Akashic’s workmanlike Mumbai volume draw inspiration from the criminal networks and the sordid underbelly the city is infamous for. Riaz Mulla’s “Justice,” while lacking nuance, offers a vision of a future beyond the eye-for-eye logic that perpetuates the cycle of violence between Hindus and Muslims. Kalpish Ratna sets “At Leopold Café” right after the 2008 attack by Islamic terrorists on several of Mumbai’s tourist spots, but it’s just as much about times past as times present. Avtar Singh’s “Pakheezah” channels a Bollywood classic by the same name, albeit with less of a happy ending. The book’s best entry, Namita Devidayal’s “The Egg,” is a darkly funny tale about housing societies, taboos, and the impossible Mumbai real estate. While none of the selections is a mystery in the traditional sense, armchair travelers will find plenty of amusement in touring the seedier parts of this island city in perfect safety. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/16/2012
Release date: 02/01/2012
Ebook - 300 pages - 978-1-61775-112-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-9248-5
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