Author: Piyush Jha
About the story: Mumbai, a city of dreams for many. But for others, a nightmare. Behind the façade of luster and glamour churns a seething underbelly of squalor, corruption and crime.
Mumbaistan’s three explosive crime novellas unravel the subterranean secrets of maximum city-from the teeming maw of Dharavi and the wanton streets of Kamathipura to the swank high-rises of Bandra.
A prostitute, her lover and a policeman play for high stakes in Bomb Day. Injectionwala exposes chilling medical malpractices and lovelorn vigilante’s twisted game plan. In Coma Man, a man awakens from coma after twenty years, and sets out in search of his wife-and himself.
Macabre love stories, conniving cops and hard-boiled slumlords form tge backdrop of a schizophrenic city that is brooding…dying.
Welcome to Mumbaistan; a gritty, compelling take on the megalopolis that lives on the edge.
Review: I was suitably impressed after reading Piyush Jha’s crime/thriller novel-Compass Box Killer and was determined to read his first novel- Mumbaistan which promised to be more racy and entertaining than his first book. So it was with much expectation that I picked up this book.
The first story in the book- Bomb Day is fast paced, in fact there are so many twists and turns in the plot, that after some pages I decided to quit who was trying to double cross whom and just go with the story. The climax was undoubtedly the best and I really did not see it coming.
The second story Injectionwala with Inspector Virkar as its protagonist is my favorite. I think I may have a small, teeny-weeny crush on the swarthy inspector. The plot was good but there was not much of a surprise factor in the way the story ended.
The third novella-Coma Man has an intriguing plot, that of a man who has been written off as dead, rises from his twenty long years of sleep and tries to find out about his wife and his past. But again the plot gives away too much and it’s not difficult to guess the real culprits.
The narration and the three varied plots, weaved in the ever-pulsating city of Mumbai definitely enthralls and entertains. It’s easy to see that the author has managed to create a web of crime, deceit, mystery and intrigue with these three stories and his love for the Maximum City, Mumbai, shines throughout the book.
Verdict: Fast paced, engrossing and unputdownable.