The Case of the Love Commandos (Vish Puri Mysteries) by Tarquin Hall
|The Case of the Love Commandos (Vish Puri Mysteries) by Tarquin Hall|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The fourth Vish Puri mystery is fresh and engaging with a taste (sometimes quite literally) of the real India. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: October 2013|
|External links: Author's website|
Ram and Tulsi fell in love but their different castes meant that Tulsi's family were completely against their marrying, with Tulsi's father locking her up and saying that he would hunt down Ram. The Love Commandos - a group formed to help mixed-caste couples - came to their aid, but when they liberated Tulsi, Ram was snatched from his hiding place. For Vish Puri, India's 'Most Private Investigator', it was proving to be a difficult month. He'd failed to retrieve some stolen jewels, a pickpocket had removed his wallet (and he had to depend his Mummy-ji to retrieve it) and this case just made everything worse. He could see the problem - but Vish wasn't that convinced about love matches. Then he found that his arch rival, Hari Kumar, was also trying to find Ram - but for whom?
You could almost say that this is a story with India as its main character, with the addition of a detective - and her son, who happens to be a private investigator. There's a real feel of India - the heat, the stark contrasts between the rich and the poor, the politics and particularly for the way that the poor are exploited at every turn. You have a sense of being in the middle of it all and I struggle to think of any popular fiction which does this quite so well. It extend too to the manner of speech of the characters - so often what you get is almost a pantomime act or caricatures of Indians - but Tarquin Hall has caught it perfectly.
It's also a tribute to Hall that Mummy-ji (to some extent a minor character) comes of the page splendidly. She's the archetypal Indian mother - and then some more. She's manipulative, persistent and intelligent - and I loved every time she appeared. Vish Puri himself is that lovely combination of grown man who is still just a little (well, more than a little...) bit in awe of his mother.
The plot is good too. It's perhaps possible to sense which way the wind is blowing but this is one of those books where the journey to the solution is more important than the solution to the problem. A thoroughly enjoyable read and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
The book reads well as a standalone but if this one appeals then you'll love The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Case of the Love Commandos (Vish Puri Mysteries) by Tarquin Hall at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Case of the Love Commandos (Vish Puri Mysteries) by Tarquin Hall at Amazon.com.
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