Book Review #186: Bhendi Bazaar

Author: Vish Dhamija

Genre: Mystery & Thriller, Crime Fiction, General Fiction, Indian Fiction

Language: English 

Series, if any: NA

Publisher: Rumour Books India

Date of publication: 9 March 2015

No. of pages: 299


1982. Three teenage girls come to India for the Olympics with a plan to flee from the regime of Soviet Union. Unwillingly and unwittingly they end up being sold in Mumbai’s red-light area instead. 

The murders start a quarter of a century later. All the victims are men. All are dubious in character. And all end disturbingly mutilated. As the bodies starts piling up with the antics of the first serial killer in the streets on Mumbai, DCP Rita Ferreira has the mammoth task of apprehending the killer before it’s too late. 


There are two things that I loked about the book. First is the well thoughtout plot that alternates between past and present while maintaining a steady pace that frankly, equals the legal system of India in reality. There is nothing too intricate or overtly taxing about the story here. The humane dactor has been beautifully broughtout and somehow the plot does make a connection with the readers. What I didn’t like here would be the language and style of narration. While the story was good, the language and the way in which the book has been written felt like an effort; there was a touch of pretension alongwith inclusion characters and subplots that seemed a tad unnecessary. The disappointment of the effectiveness of the narrative style was somewhat mellowed with the twist of the climax that was much anticipated, but not at all expected. 

The second thing that I liked about the book would the characterisation of the protagonist Rita Ferreira. The potrayal of a female character as a figure of authority in the men workplace, especially as DCP of police definitely suited me well. But somehow the secondary characters were potrayed in a downtrodden manner to maintain the tone of feminism in the book, and that is the second fact that I didn’t like. 

My opinion: It’s an Okay book; nothing too fanciful or dramatic to be recommended and passed on. 

My rating: 2.5 out of 5


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