Another police story in which atmosphere is as important as plot is Anita Nair’s A Cut-Like Wound (Bitter Lemon, £8.99) but this time we’re facing the murderous heat of Bangalore in August. Inspector Borei Gowda is, on the surface, a typical fictional detective — irascible, hard-drinking and self-destructively at odds with his bosses — until a surprise reunion with his first love reminds him of who he used to be in his student days. Perhaps that’s why, while his colleagues believe that the deaths of a few “eunuchs” are not worth wasting police resources on, Gowda is determined to protect the city’s oppressed transgender community from a self-hating murderer, no matter how many corrupt politicians he has to make enemies of in the process. Gowda’s first case delights — and sometimes shocks — the senses and is a very welcome addition to the still frustratingly small ration of Indian crime fiction now appearing in Britain.

Morning Star

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