Guardian Best Novels released in June: Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India and its third most populous city, is the setting for novelist Anita Nair’s first foray into crime fiction,A Cut-Like Wound (Bitter Lemon Press, £8.99). The plot – a young man who fantasies about being a hijra and commits murder in drag, pursued by a jaded inspector whose discovery of corruption in influential families put the kibosh on his career – is standard fare. However, Nair captures the seedy side of shiny new India vividly, and Inspector Gowda – with his weary self-knowledge; hissecret, wistfully aspirational biker tattoo; his stagnating marriage and his confusion when an old flame re-enters his life – is a welcome addition to the ranks of flawed-but-lovable fictional cops.


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