Inspector Borei Gowda’s constant bucking of the Bangalore police department’s political conventions has earned him exile to a sidelined precinct. Still, he has a reputation for incredible investigative skills, and it’s those skills that rookie inspector Santosh hopes to absorb. Santosh is in luck; just as he arrives at the precinct, passersby find a body burning in an abandoned car. The autopsy reveals that the man’s throat was cut by an unusual, unidentified weapon. When two more bodies turn up with the same wound, Gowda campaigns to investigate the murders as serial killings, upsetting the administration’s denial that such killers operate in India. But a senior officer friend secretly hands Gowda unofficial reins, and he and Santosh hunt a killer incongruously connected to both local politics and Bangalore’s eunuch subculture. Nair doesn’t coddle Western readers, which makes deciphering police and municipal political structures tricky, but those who enjoy international settings will surely enjoy the well-drawn tension between modern and traditional Indian culture, Gowda’s steady confidence, and the heady immersion in Bangalore’s hidden recesses.


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