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Djinn patrol on the purple line : a novel
2020
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In an award-winning debut based on true events, a 9-year-old reality-television enthusiast in India uses crime-show approaches to investigate the disappearance of a classmate, before additional abductions shatter life in his sprawling city home. - (Baker & Taylor)

"Based on a true story--Nine-year-old Jai watches too many reality police shows, thinks he's smarter than his friend Pari (even though she gets the best grades), and considers himself to be a better boss than Faiz (even though Faiz is the one with a 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 visit. But 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 their fears of soul-snatching djinns. As the disappearances edge ever closer to home, the lives of Jai and his friends will never be the same again. At times exuberant, at times heartbreaking, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line traces the unfolding of a tragedy while capturing the fierce warmth and resilience of a community forged in times of trouble"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

Discover the debut novel that 'announces the arrival of a literary supernova' (The New York Times Book Review),"a drama of childhood that is as wild as it is intimate' (Chigozie Obioma).
 
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 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 visit.

But 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 again.

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. - (Random House, Inc.)

Author Biography

Deepa Anappara grew up in Kerala, southern India, and worked as a journalist in cities including Mumbai and Delhi. Her reports on the impact of poverty and religious violence on the education of children won a Developing Asia Journalism Award, an Every Human has Rights Media Award, and a Sanskriti-Prabha Dutt Fellowship in Journalism. A portion of her debut novel, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, won the Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize, the Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award, and the Bridport/Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award. She has an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia,  where she is currently studying for a Ph.D. on a CHASE doctoral fellowship. - (Random House, Inc.)

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Booklist Reviews

Enamored of police reality shows, nine-year-old Jai decides to become a detective himself when a classmate goes missing from his impoverished urban Indian settlement. Hoping to solve the case, he enlists the aid of his two best friends, Faiz and Pari. Their mettle is tested when other children begin disappearing, and the corrupt local police ignore the situation. Faiz, a Muslim, is convinced that an evil djinn is responsible, while Pari pooh-poohs that notion and Jai equivocates. But if not a djinn, then who or what? Clearly something evil is at work as more and more children disappear; finally, even Jai's older sister becomes a victim. Jai bitterly decides he's not a detective after all, and even the solution of the mystery fails to bring him closure. The author has done an excellent job of telling her sometimes sad story in Jai's credible nine-year-old voice, and her treatment of her setting, with its ingrained social inequities, is a model of verisimilitude. Best, however, is her characterization, especially that of Jai, who comes to life on the page to live on in readers' memories. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

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