Three Friends Venture Into The Most Dangerous Corners Of A Sprawling Indian City To Find Their Missing ClassmateDown Market Lanes Crammed With Too Many People, Dogs, And Rickshaws, Past Stalls That Smell Of Cardamom And Sizzling Oil, Below A Smoggy Sky That Doesn T Let Through A Single Blade Of Sunlight, And All The Way At The End Of The Purple Metro Line Lies A Jumble Of Tin Roofed Homes Where Nine Year Old Jai Lives With His Family From His Doorway, He Can Spot The Glittering Lights Of The City S Fancy High Rises, And Though His Mother Works As A Maid In One, To Him They Seem A Thousand Miles AwayJai Drools Outside Sweet Shops, Watches Too Many Reality Police Shows, And Considers Himself To Be Smarter Than His Friends Pari Though She Gets The Best Grades And Faiz Though Faiz Has An Actual Job When A Classmate Goes Missing, Jai Decides To Use The Crime Solving Skills He Has Picked Up From TV To Find Him He Asks Pari And Faiz To Be His Assistants, And Together They Draw Up Lists Of People To Interview And Places To VisitBut What Begins As A Game Turns Sinister As Other Children Start Disappearing From Their Neighborhood Jai, Pari, And Faiz Have To Confront Terrified Parents, An Indifferent Police Force, And Rumors Of Soul Snatching Djinns As The Disappearances Edge Ever Closer To Home, The Lives Of Jai And His Friends Will Never Be The Same AgainDrawing On Real Incidents And A Spate Of Disappearances In Metropolitan IndiaTake A Look At The Reading Guide For Djinn Patrol On The Purple Line Journalist and author Deepa Anappara draws our attention to the horrors and tragedy of the terrifyingly enormous numbers of children that go missing in India, a matter that is largely met by indifference in mainstream Indian society The impoverished slums and community are depicted with an astonishing vibrancy as the people go about their daily lives and the challenges they face, lying within sight of the wealthy and powerful to whom the poor are invisible and a blight on their landscape Annappara provides a pertinent social, political, cultural and economic commentary on modern India, with its huge wealth inequalities, class, sexism, crime, police corruption, abuse, exploitation, and religious tensions and divisions Interspersed within the narrative are the folklore and superstitions that abound in the community, such as the Djinns.Jai is a poor young 9 year old child, who is obsessed with TV crime drama shows, so when his class mate Bahadur goes missing, he wants to emulate those shows by investigating He is assisted by the brighter and smarter girl, Pari and his friend, Faiz In a narrative that brings danger and goes around in circles as children disappear, their investigation comes far too close to home for Jai on a case where the grim realities of contemporary India bring a loss of innocence and underline an absence of all of childhood should be, safe, secure and protected This is a harrowing and desperately heartbreaking read of a national tragedy where there are rarely any happy endings A brilliant novel that highlights such an important and urgent issue in India Many thanks to Random House Vintage for an ARC. I really enjoyed the atmosphere created The environment reveals a distinct separation of classes and the varied lives according to social status and monetary value Police negligence, religious violence, and educational values are exposed through this fictional tale set in India The language was great, and I enjoyed the story being told through the eyes of nine year old Jai The man scratches at his feathery beard Kids around here disappear all the time, he says One day they ll have too much glue and decide to try their luck somewhere else Another day they ll get hit by a rubbish truck and end up in a hospital Some other morning, they ll be picked up by the police and sent to a juvenile home We don t make a fuss about anybody vanishing The story itself became repetitive After one child disappeared, Jai and Pari investigated and played detective, and I was into it However, then the same thing just kept happening Another would disappear, Jai and Pari would investigate, turn up empty handed and go home, then another disappear, etc So, the progress wasn t as engaging as I would have preferred For me, the most powerful chapters were This Story Will Save Your Life which were mostly stories of the djinns and other beliefs regarding wandering children My favorite scene was when Jai and Pari went to the railway station Because of the title and blurb, I have to admit that I thought a big portion of this novel would take place around the railway However, there was only one big scene there in the beginning I wasn t too pleased with the ending, but I respect the underlying messages delivered to the reader through that conclusion.I think the themes embedded in this story are significantly valuable However, the progression of the story was uniform Overall, I liked the story because of the important leitmotifs Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for this copy Opinions are my own.More on railway children Railway Children in IndiaWhat happens to railway children This is a tragic story that underlines the shocking fact that an estimated 180 children go missing in India each day It describes the religious, social, and financial divides problematic in modern India The story immersed me in the vibrantly described sights, food and fragrances of its slum setting Here the people mostly love their children and care for the people in their neighbourhood despite the poverty, drudgery, and the squalor in which they live The trauma of missing children began to raise their suspicions, and anger at their corrupt and inefficient police force Nine year old Jai, a Hindu schoolboy is obsessed with detective and police shows on TV He decides to become a child detective and enlists two of his schoolmates to serve as his assistants after a boy at his school, Bahadur, goes missing Pari is smarter but is given a subordinate role because she is a girl His friend Faiz, is Moslem boy He misses a lot of school as he needs to work to help his parents Their investigation starts amidst complete indifference by the local police The police make no effort to look for Bahadur, claiming he ran away The investigations by the three amateur detectives takes them into very dangerous parts of the city, such as the busy marketplace, the filthy local dump, the bordello district, and the train station at the end of the Blue Line Rising above their dirty, ramshackle slum neighbourhood can be seen the highrise apartments and penthouses of the wealthy As they interview families, shopkeepers, friends and suspects, they find no evidence of what happened to their missing schoolmate Jai and Faiz suspect he may have been snatched by an evil Jinn spirit , but the less superstitious Pari tries to dissuade them of this belief Soon other children go missing Omvir, a friend of Bahadur, vanishes Next, a 16 year old girl, Aanchal, disappears The police insist that Omvir has simply run away and refuse any search effort Aanchal was a good girl employed as a beautician while studying English in hopes of becoming a call centre worker The police, with no valid evidence, said she was a brothel worker in her 20s and had run away with a much older Moslem lover When next, a 4 year old girl disappears, not only are the parents of the missing distraught, but the entire neighbourhood is frantic and afraid for the safety of the children Since these five children were all Hindus, the suspicion and blame falls on local Moslems, putting innocent Moslem lives are in danger When people complain about the inefficiency and disinterest of the police, they are threatened that their homes will be bulldozed for stirring up trouble The case becomes difficult when two Moslem children, a brother and sister, are next to disappear Jai is becoming discouraged with his Djinn Patrol s lack of progress, and then to add to the tragic crime wave, his older sister, a star athlete, is next to disappear Will Jai and his two friends manage to find any of the missing youngsters or any evidence of what happened to them Who is committing these atrocious crimes What is the motivation Will his sister be found in time What will be the aftermath for their families and neighbours Many thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for this poignant and heartfelt story based on alarming facts. Jail lives in a poor slum in India Children start going missing and he decides to investigate like the detectives do in his favourite TV shows But Jai is just nine years old The local police are not interested in finding the children The depiction of slum life is harrowing It has also been sensitively written Sometimes the book is a bit confusing and repetitive The story is intriguing, funny and heart wrenching I really liked Jai and his two friends who tried to find the missing children The story is told from Jai s point of view The author paints a picture of what life is like living in a slum.I would like to thank NetGalley, Random House UK, Vintage Publishing and the author Deepa Anappara for my ARC in exchange for an honest review. The Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line combines humour, warmth and wit with tragedy and deprivation innocence and optimism with bigotry and corruption Despite the djinn patrol of the title, there s little magic here.Set in a basti, or Indian slum, where children have vanished and the police are disinclined to help, the novel follows 9 year old Jai and his friends as they play detective to try and solve the case It s an incredible window on daily life in such a place the precarity of knowing the authorities could bulldoze your home at any moment, but also the strong family and community bonds that form there The sights sounds and smells of the basti are vividly evoked as Jai investigate, and this immersive depiction is really well balanced to be neither sensationalised nor sugar coated.The child characters are so endearing and na ve that I was a little unprepared for how dark this novel becomes by the end I ve since learned that the story is based on real events The heart wrenching conclusion really brings home some hard truths about how poverty renders people invisible, and the way vulnerable communities are so often failed by the systems meant to protect them. First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Deepa Anappara and Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.Delving into to the darker side of life in India, Deepa Anappara presents readers with this most impactful mystery With close to two hundred children disappearing off Indian streets daily, this story about a missing child leaves the reader feeling a little less than comfortable Jai may only be nine years old, but he seems to know just how life ought to be When a boy goes missing in his school, Jai works with some of his friends to locate the young boy Well versed on police procedurals from his time watching television, Jai is sure hat he can lead a brigade just like on the screen He ll come across a great deal fo poverty, with people who will do and sell anything for their next meal, and travel late into the night to the far reaches of the city, all in hopes of capturing a killer, just like those on television Refusing to back down, Jai encounters a number of stumbling blocks along the way, including incompetent police officers, members of gangs, and even the mysterious djinn, a spirit with a penchant for children Forgetting the danger that creeps up regularly Jai will not return without answers, all in a place where another missing child is swept into the rubbish bin and forgotten Jai refuses to ignore his intuition, even as those around him write him off as foolish An interesting take with a strong backstory, surely of interest to some readers That being said, I could not effectively connect with the story and it left me needing to sustain my attention.I am always fascinated to learn about new countries and cultures, particularly when the reader hails from that part of the world Deepa Anappara not only spent her early life in India, but has written extensively about child disappearances and poverty on the streets She brings much to the table in this piece, using a number of essential young characters to give the story a different perspective The use of Jai and his friends helps to enrich the story for a reader who may know little about life on the streets or the horrible statistics about missing children As this young boy looks for his classmate, he is fuelled by the sense that he, too, can locate someone in short order, as though he were closing a case before the credits scroll, like his favourite television personalities The cast of characters seems to work well, different from one another and always trying to provide additional flavouring when it is useful The story itself was well crafted and paces itself relatively well I suppose I found myself lost in the shuffle from character depictions and how things developed There is a strong story and the narrative keeps the reader intrigued, but I could not find a place on which to latch myself Like many of the faceless people who see and hear nothing, I felt as though the essential aspects of the book passed me by To see that others enjoyed it is pleasing, though I am surely going to sit in the minority outside the tent and say that this book was not one I found stellar Kudos, Madam Anappara, for shedding some light on the horrors of missing children I trust many will find the pieces I could not in this novel and give you the praise you seek.Love hate the review An ever growing collection of others appears at Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge 2.8 The strength of this novel is the vivid setting of the Indian basti slum and surrounding city that 9 year old Jai navigates It is written as a light hearted caper featuring Jai imitating a TV detective to find a missing friend Until children go missing and it is clear that there is a serious problem, it feels like a middle grade novel I ended up skimming the 2nd half I m not sure who the intended audience is but it isn t me.Thank you to Random House for the ARC. Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Indian debut novelist Deepa Anappara is a refreshingly original and wonderfully unique read In a sprawling Indian city, three friends venture into the most dangerous corners to find their missing classmate Down market lanes crammed with too many people, dogs, and rickshaws, past stalls that smell of cardamom and sizzling oil, below a smoggy sky that doesn t let through a single blade of sunlight, and all the way at the end of the Purple metro line lies a jumble of tin roofed homes where nine year old Jai lives with his family From his doorway, he can spot the glittering lights of the city s fancy high rises, and though his mother works as a maid in one, to him they seem a thousand miles away Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line plunges readers deep into this neighborhood to trace the unfolding of a tragedy through the eyes of a child as he has his first perilous collisions with an unjust and complicated wider world Jai decides to use the crime solving skills he has picked up from TV to find him He asks Pari and Faiz to be his assistants, and together they draw up lists of people to interview and places to visit Drawing on real incidents and a spate of disappearances in metropolitan India, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line is extraordinarily moving, flawlessly imagined, and a triumph of suspense It captures the fierce warmth, resilience, and bravery that can emerge in times of trouble and carries the reader headlong into a community that, once encountered, is impossible to forget The indifference of the police force regarding those missing broke my heart and highlighted just how deep the corruption runs This is a witty and resonant debut and an introduction to a writer of enormous talent.Every now and again a book comes along that is impossible to ignore this is one of them Many thanks to Vintage for an ARC. In her debut novel, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, Deepa Anappara examines the epidemic of missing children in India through the eyes of a na ve, TV obsessed young boy living in the slums When a boy from Jai s school goes missing, he decides to use his detective skills learned from watching too many episodes of Police Patrol to find him.This was a book that confounded many of my expectations Based on the premise of djinns in contemporary society, I was expecting a magical realist depiction of life in India, in the vein of Rushdie s Midnight s Children In fact, Anappara s terse, utilitarian style owes a lot to true crime writing This is perhaps to be expected, given her background as a journalist reporting on cases of disappeared children While we re occasionally reminded of the story s supernatural elements, they jar somewhat with the central narrative, never quite fitting together.Anappara creates a rich cast of characters, each struggling to survive in the face of poverty, police corruption and religious conflict Jai s sister Runu, who has ambitions of becoming a star athlete, and his academically gifted friend Pari chafe against the limitations placed on women in their society While the women are the emotional heart of the novel, they feel oddly de centred.The novel is structured around the events of each disappearance, written from the victim s perspective, but focuses on the everyman protagonist Jai, in many ways the least interesting character His limited perspective and lack of understanding give the novel a frustratingly narrow view of the world it depicts I would have loved to see a in depth exploration of the other characters inner lives and everyday experiences While the tagline reads, This story is a talisman Hold it close to your hearts, the novel never quite delivers on this idea of the redemptive power of storytelling, instead falling into a sadly realistic but narratively unsatisfying conclusion As many as 180 children go missing in India every day, and despite its imperfections, Djinn Patrol will hopefully bring much needed international attention to this issue.Review copy provided by the publisher in return for an honest review I was sent this by the publisher in exchange for an honest review Nine year old Jai is obsessed with reality crime shows and detectives When one of his classmates goes missing, he ropes his friends Pari and Faiz in to help look for the boy When others start to disappear, finding out what happened becomes the most important thing in Jai s life Child narrators can be difficult to capture in print and can often annoy the reader but the author manages to convey Jai s childlike innocence combined with a worldview that can only come from living in poverty Jai is a likeable character and his casual mentions of things like people dying from diseases, debt issues, etc, in a matter of fact fashion show how prevalent things like this are in his part of the community The novel is a vivid depiction of life in an Indian slum with corrupt police and nobody batting an eyelid when children are being exploited The families of those missing struggle to have their voices heard and the reader finds their hearts going out to them because their pain leaps out from the page The author was inspired to write this novel to raise awareness of how many Indian children go missing every day and this is certainly thought provoking The writing draws you in and the story keeps you reading as you hope beyond all hope for a happy ending.
- 368 pages
- Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line
- Deepa Anappara
- 13 April 2017 Deepa Anappara