Cover Image: The Blue Monsoon

The Blue Monsoon

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Member Reviews

Damyanti Biswas’s eagerly awaited third book, the second in the Blue Mumbai series does not disappoint. The blue sequins in The Blue Bar kept glimmering in my imagination, as I waited for this book. I have wondered what happened to Arnav and Tara and here they are again, in a new chapter in their lives. This is a spoiler free review so I will only hint at events. I prefer not to give anything away.
The book begins with a gruesome murder juxtaposed with an important event in Arnav and Tara;s life. Damyanti dances between the comforting familiarity of a festive domestic event and a grisly homicide. The killing is visually shocking and deliberately creepy with tantric symbols and ritual mutilation. Damyanti has explained the symbolism of the Kali temple for readers unfamiliar with India.
The monsoon, with its ability to wash away clues and obstruct investigations, is an ever present ally of criminals and foe of the police. The pouring rain, flooded streets, flickering lights, sketchy phone signals are unsurprising for those of us who live in monsoon lands. I began reading the book just as the monsoon rains broke over Delhi in a dramatic turn of dark grey clouds towering above us, shedding some of their weight in heavy drops that quickly turned into a relentless stream. What better way to weather the storm than by racing through a gripping thriller?
Damyanti’s settings come to life in each of her books and this book doesn’t disappoint either. Bombay life is so vividly drawn, the reader is transported to the city of seven islands. Another aspect that rings true is the blurring of lines between police and criminals. The cops have their informers, who are petty or reformed criminals with their ear to the ground. The police are rarely boy scouts living by some unbelievably high moral code. There is give and take in their world as we can see that the cops don’t solve the mysteries in isolation. They need the help of criminals who are aligned against the particular criminals who are in the cross hairs now.
The surprise ending hurtles the reader along a roller coaster ride where you hang on for dear life.
Caste, explanations for caste and the reasons why so much of India doesn’t acknowledge caste plays an important role. It runs through much of the book like a leaden thread elevating it from a crime thriller set in Mumbai to a book that doesn't hesitate to talk about aspects of Indian life that remain unacknowledged except by journalists and sociologists.
Atmospheric and thrilling, the reader is immediately drawn into the lives, the highs and lows of the finely drawn characters. It is the best kind of thriller.

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Damyanti Biswas’ The Blue Monsoon is an emotionally-charged, gritty sequel to The Blue Bar. Once again Mumbai comes to life, in all of its sodden brilliance, and written in a way that westerners can easily enjoy. Biswas doesn’t shy away from any aspect of the human experience and the experience of Indians of all classes (and castes).

The Blue Monsoon has a subtle change in tone from The Blue Bar, with the modicum of happiness that Senior Inspector Arnav Singh Rajput and his wife Tara have achieved, the upheaval in both professional and personal lives seems all the more insidious.

Biswas has created a novel that pushes the typical bounds of the police procedural genre and gives her readers a clear look at modern Indian life and the tragedy of women trapped in lives they can’t escape.

I was thrilled to be an advance reader for Damyanti again the novel was a consummate page-turner.

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Senior Inspector Arnav Singh Rajput is back at it again, striving to catch the killer whose gruesome murders are plaguing his city, Mumbai. Meanwhile, his wife and daughter are coping with their own challenges, and as he dives deeper into the investigation, threats to his wife bring danger closer to home.

I enjoyed this immensely. The Blue Monsoon is a compelling crime novel that features an interesting cast of characters. Biswas weaves a multitude of social themes within the storyline, such as casteism, sexism, and corruption. The writing is engaging, and while I found the murders relatively easy to solve, the characters and social commentary kept me engrossed the entire time. This is perfect for crime enthusiasts who love family drama, intrigue, and revenge.

Thank you to Damyanti Biswas, Thomas & Mercer, and NetGalley for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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The Blue Monsoon is the sequel to The Blue Bar but can be read as a standalone. Welcome to chaotic and exotic 'Mumbai! Detective Arnav Singh Rajput is assigned to a murder at a temple that includes disfigurement. The marks are part of a cult and the placement of the body at a Hindu temple tears the city in two. Arnav is pulled between a very high pressure, gory case and the fragility of his wife who is pregnant and still recovering from a coma.

This is a shocking, gritty almost noir story with non-stop action and complex story lines. You will learn tons about India and power systems along the way - Mumbai is very much it's own atmospheric character in this book. If you like police procedurals, learning about countries and culture via reading or just love a gritty and graphic mystery then The Blue Monsoon is for you! #Thomas&Mercer #TheBlueMonsoon #DamyantiBiswas

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A riveting and gripping thriller based in Mumbai during a monsoon. This book sheds light on the caste system. Based on what caste you were born into determined the privileges or disadvantages you would face. If you didn’t fall into one of the castes you were considered untouchable or scheduled caste. The vivid descriptions of how the scheduled caste were treated and looked down upon was gut wrenching to read about. This will be something you will remember long after you put this book down.

This is one of those books that just runs you through so many different emotions as you get engrossed in the story. You learn so much about the culture, religions, beliefs, kinnars and the caste system.

There is a brutal murder and the body is displayed outside the temple. There is so much intrigue as you discover who is doing this and why. Crooked police, lies, secrets, revenge, and murder -this book manages to have it all and I loved it. Senior Inspector Rajut has to try and catch a killer and protect his family.

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Tense and complex mystery - secrets, lies, betrayal, revenge, all circling around the caste system and subjugation of women. Child pornography and trafficking and systemic bigotry hit sensitive and important topics, as well as rampant corruption. Not a dull moment, and he just can't catch a break from being in the middle of horror. Excellent and intense second installment.

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