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The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star by Vaseem Khan Review

Title: The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star

Author: Vaseem Khan

First published July 18, 2017

400 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780316434515 (ISBN10: 0316434515)

Rating: 4.05

Overview

The bustling city of Mumbai is known for its glitz, glamour, and larger-than-life personalities. But when Bollywood’s rising star, Rhea Joshi, suddenly disappears, the city is left in shock.

Enter Inspector Chopra, a seasoned detective, and his trusty sidekick, baby elephant Ganesha. Hired by Rhea’s desperate parents to find their daughter, Chopra and Ganesha dive headfirst into the world of Bollywood, where secrets run deep and motives are never what they seem.

As they navigate through the web of lies and deceit, Chopra and Ganesha uncover a trail of betrayal, jealousy, and revenge. Will they be able to solve the mystery of Rhea’s disappearance before it’s too late?

The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star is a thrilling tale that proves that in Bollywood, truth is often stranger than fiction.

About the Author

Meet Vaseem Khan, the talented author behind two gripping crime series set in India: the Baby Ganesh Agency and the Malabar House historical crime novels. His debut novel, The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra, was an instant hit, reaching the top of the Times bestseller list and translated into 15 languages.

The novel introduced readers to the captivating Inspector Chopra of the Mumbai police, and his adorable sidekick – a one-year-old baby elephant. The second installment in the series even won a prestigious Shamus Award in America.

In 2018, Vaseem’s contributions to literature were recognized with the Eastern Eye ACTA (Arts, Culture and Theatre Award). Although born in London, he spent a decade in India as a management consultant.

Since 2006, he has worked at University College London’s Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science.

Vaseem’s new series kicks off with Midnight at Malabar House, which takes readers to Bombay in 1950 and introduces Persis Wadia, India’s first female police detective. Get ready for a thrilling ride through the streets of India with Vaseem Khan’s captivating crime novels.

Editoral Review

Vaseem Khans The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star is a thrilling murder mystery set against the vibrant and colorful backdrop of Indias largest film industry. The novel, published on July 18, 2017, is the third installment in the authors Baby Ganesh Detective Agency series, which features a pair of unlikely investigators, Inspector Ashwin Chopra and his trusty elephant companion, Ganesh.

Khan masterfully balances the exotic locale and cultural richness with page-turning suspense and humor, making the book a delight to read. Set in the glittering world of Bollywood, where fame and wealth can be both a blessing and a curse, the novel explores the dark underbelly of the entertainment industry, where rivalries and egos clash and the stakes are often high.

The plot revolves around the mysterious disappearance of a famous film star, the beautiful and talented Heena Malik, on the eve of her films premiere. Chopra, who is now retired from the police force but cant resist a good case, and his loyal partner Ganesh are hired by Heenas distraught father to find her.

As they delve into the case, Chopra and Ganesh encounter a cast of eccentric characters, including Heenas ambitious parents, her handsome co-star, jealous rivals, and corrupt officials, each with their own secrets and motives. The investigation takes them from the glamorous film sets to the gritty streets of Mumbai, where they must navigate the complex web of relationships and uncover the truth before its too late.

Khans writing is vivid and evocative, immersing the reader in the sights, sounds, and smells of Indias bustling metropolis. He creates a rich tapestry of characters and settings, seamlessly blending elements of Indian culture, history, and mythology with the classic detective genre.

The dialogue is witty and charming, particularly the banter between Chopra and Ganesh, who serves as both comic relief and a valuable ally in their investigations. The book also touches on social issues such as corruption, gender politics, and class disparities, adding depth and relevance to the story.

Khan skillfully weaves these themes into the narrative without being heavy-handed or preachy, allowing the readers to draw their own conclusions. One of the major strengths of the novel is the character development.

Chopra, who is a retired policeman with a heart of gold, is a compelling protagonist, with a sharp intellect, a strong moral compass, and a deep sense of empathy. Ganesh, too, is a standout character, with his mischievous personality and adorable quirks, making him a beloved mascot of the series.

The pacing of the novel is excellent, with the right balance of action, suspense, and reflection, keeping the reader engaged throughout. The plot twists and turns, keeping the reader guessing until the very end.

The conclusion is satisfying and leaves room for future adventures of Chopra and Ganesh. Overall, The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star is a delightful read, a perfect blend of mystery, humor, and cultural immersion.

It will appeal to fans of detective fiction, Indian culture, and anyone who enjoys a well-crafted and entertaining story. It is also a welcome addition to the growing canon of diverse and inclusive literature, promoting understanding and appreciation of different cultures.

Highly recommended. Rating: 4.5/5 stars.

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