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CHAIN OF CUSTODY: An Inspector Gowda Novel ~Anita Nair

Monday, February 6th, 2017

I am very pleased that the Meryl Zegarek Public Relations Firm sent me CHAIN OF CUSTODY for review.  It is always wonderful to read what has been written in other countries and how novelists and authors are approaching social issues in their locations.  This is the second book in the Inspector Gowda mystery series and it truly sheds a light on the culture of Bangalore, India.

I needed to keep my Google search engine warmed up and ready as I researched new terms and words and I was happy to realize that the titles were similar to British law enforcement terms.  I was disheartened as the story wove through the antiquated laws and sanctions, which were such human rights violations as the story unfolded.  I did need to keep a pencil and paper close by to keep the characters sorted and figured out.  The story was a learning experience.  The translation (?) might make USA readers work a bit harder.

From the press sheet:

“Anita Nair has never shied away from the darker underside of life and in CHAIN OF CUSTODY she addresses another one of Bangalore’s compelling human rights issues.  In recent years the city has become a hub for Indian child trafficking.  Children are often picked up by scouts on trains or abducted on the streets of villages and brought to the city.  Sadly, if they’re lucky they are placed into slave-like domestic service – the boys mostly.  The less lucky, the girls, end up in brothels under heavy and brutal guard.”

“Anita Nair lives in Bangalore and is a prize-winning author, playwright, essayist and lecturer.  Her novel LADIES COUPE is a feminist classic, which has been published in thirty languages all over the world.  The Gowda series is a new departure from her into noir and literary crime.”

The novel begins with the murder of a prominent lawyer and weaves into the story of the disappearance of twelve-year -old Nandita.  There are a great many characters in the story including child welfare workers and abducted boy servants.  The police have many interesting positions and interpretations of the law and rules.  The story pulls in Inspector Gowda’s wife, son and mistress and all his confusions about his relationships and his “admiration” for his Bullet cycle.  There is much tension as in the story Gowda and Nair bring it to its proper conclusion

I pushed myself to get into the rhythm of the writing and very much enjoyed reading the book and the revealing cultural insight.  I do not wish to visit this location because of the heat and the violations of human rights; the extreme worries about clean water.  It was reassuring that this author was pursuing the issues in a way that it might become a well read and accepted process to make change occur and human respect more prominent a factor within the culture.   Yes!  Let’s take on the “bad guys” any way we are able.

This London Bitter Lemon Press book will appeal to many readers and particularly those who enjoy a good murder mystery – CHAIN OF CUSTODY

“Nair captures the seedy side of shiny new India vividly, and Inspector Gowda is a welcome addition to the ranks of flawed-but-lovable fictional cope.” (The Guardian)

A House for Happy Mothers
The Last Conception
The Moonlight Palace

A HOUSE FOR HAPPY MOTHERS: A Novel ~Amulya Malladi

Monday, June 20th, 2016

“Amulya Mulladi is the author of six novels, including The Mango Season and the Sound of Language. Her books have been translated into several languages, including Dutch, German, Spanish, Danish, Romanian, Serbian, and Tamil.  She has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in journalism and works as a marketing executive for a global medtech company.  She lives in Copenhagen with her husband and two children.  She loves to connect with readers on her Facebook page  and on her website at www.maulyamalladi.com.

“In trendy Silicon Valley, Priya has everything she needs—a loving husband, a career, and a home—but the one thing she wants most is the child she’s unable to have. In a Southern Indian village, Asha doesn’t have much—raising two children in a tiny hut, she and her husband can barely keep a tin roof over their heads—but she wants a better education for her gifted son. Pressured by her family, Asha reluctantly checks into the Happy Mothers House: a baby farm where she can rent her only asset—her womb—to a childless couple overseas. To the dismay of friends and family, Priya places her faith in a woman she’s never met to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Together, the two women discover the best and the worst that India’s rising surrogacy industry has to offer, bridging continents and cultures to bring a new life into the world—and renewed hope to each other.”

I enjoyed reading this book very much and I learned a great deal about another culture and the trials of poverty  – more about what women need to do to support their children and to survive.  It came to me from TLC Book Tours   and I received a copy of it free from Amazon Prime First books.  I believe this book would expand other reader’s horizons and open eyes and hearts to troubling realities.

Mulladi deeply explores the feelings of these two women and includes the hormonal issues and how the society manipulates and individuals control others by their perceptions.  There are many writing devises explored to deeply touch each woman’s feelings and life.  How can there be true support miles apart and distanced by cultural experiences?  Lots to take in here and much to discover.  Who is actually making the money?  Oh yes! Once again we must follow the money and the real care.

Women are exploited in so many situations and here another one is exposed.  Is it a gift or is it abuse?  How do husbands support and love?  Is their relationship possible to be a friendship?  Must that remain separate?  How do the other members of the family interact and feel?  How do the social activists get involved and protect.

A great deal of depth in this story and many ideas to consider.  The author through the two women allows the reader into the idea and then the emotional fluctuations produce the outcome most hoped for and endured.  An informative and well – written story well worth considering and enjoying.

The Bounce
Scent of Butterflies
Trail of Broken Wings
The Last Conception

THE BOUNCE! A Story of Love, Loss, and the Life of a Global Indian ~Mohan

Monday, July 6th, 2015

“I had uprooted my self from my motherland to an adopted country that had given me permanent residence, but had continued on an accidental globe-trotting adventure. And along the way I had found love, life, and reasons to continue moving forward.  All the while, my life continued to bounce up and down.” (Prologue)

I truly enjoyed reading THE BOUNCE!  Although I know the story is not a full fledged memoir with the names changed, rather it is a life story of a young man who shares the events of his life and career journey and his many travels and posts.  It is an interesting perspective and good to read about another human’s journey in living a full and gracious life.

Raj is a young engineer living in the United States who has just received his green card for permanent residential status.  He has just completed his work for a Telacom group in Colorado and is heading back to India to find a bride and work on the next steps of his career and life.  His bouncing story takes him to 5 different countries and different work stops along the way.

Raj is successful in finding a wonderful wife, via computer match-up, named Priya and she ventures through life with Raj.  When they are moving from Canada back to India to introduce their son to his grandparents, they experience an amazing tragedy.  Their son dies on the long leg of the flight and Raj holds the boy until they land.  The recovery from this loss is another interesting story, which took the couple to Switzerland.

I see that the e-book copy is free on Amazon presently and the author sent me a copy for review.  A refreshing perspective on a differing culture and a very good read to enjoy.  I think I can recommend this book to anyone who likes a life story and good words about recovery from loss.   THE BOUNCE! Was insightful.


“Mohan is an Indian American Information Technology executive with a multinational company headquartered in Switzerland. He has lived and worked in five countries across three continents, gaining a first-hand experience of working in multicultural environments.

“Mohan is also a blogger, columnist and writer whose viewpoints and papers have been published in several international technical and non-technical journals. He lives in North Carolina with his lovely wife and adorable kindergartener.” (From Amazon’s book page)

Life From Scratch

TRAIL OF BROKEN WINGS: A Novel ~Sejal Badani

Monday, May 4th, 2015

“Never depend on another person for your happiness.  If someone had the authority to give, then he or she had the authority to take away.” (location 142)

I did not know what to expect from the book TRAIL OF BROKEN WINGS.    I knew it was an immigration story and a debut novel but did not know much more.  I am often tempted to read the book descriptions sent by the publishers for advanced reading copies of books; I resisted and just dove into reading the story.  TLC Book Tours sent me a copy for review.

Three sister’s elegantly tell their stories of their lives in the USA after their family moves from India as an opportunity for daughters to achieve success and excel for the family when there are no sons.  Their father was successful and kind in India but he who was an engineer in his home country now can only get work in a tire store and experiences great racism and difficult circumstances.  He is driven to control his daughters and wife to the point of verbal and physical abuse.  He is in a coma and the family is forced to look at their lives and the shame they feel; the sad and unhappy outcomes of their lives.   A family story emerges as the family secrets are confronted by the violence exposed and events manifesting in their contemporary lives.

What blooms in the family tree as the family progresses and what changes in the patterns, so that history may not repeat itself? Can destructive behavior ever manifest real or solid success and provide growth and change for communication and allow love to emerge?

The telling of Sonja, Trisha, and Marin’s stories opens up the reader to explore what was expected of them from their own families and fathers.  How does original enculturation interfere or enhance a huge change in structures and systems and how does it breakdown the basic traits and expectations?  What are the freedoms that are attached to this change and could it be thought of as a good concept.  TRAIL OF BROKEN WINGS will challenge one’s thinking and expectations.

I highly recommend TRAIL OF BROKEN WINGS for those who like family dynamics, secrets revealed and want a story to end with hope for the future.

I was interested to see that Amazon already had 547  4+ reviews for this debut novel.

Sejal Badani is a former attorney.  She currently lives on the West Coast with her family and their 2 dogs.

Sejal Badani Facebook 

Playing St. Barbara 
The Clover House 
The Last Conception 
The Isolation Door