Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

Deepa Anappara

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line
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Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

Deepa Anappara

Three weeks ago I was only a schoolkid but now I’m a detective and also a tea-shop boy…

Nine-year-old Jai watches too many reality cop shows, thinks he’s smarter than his friend Pari (even though she always gets top marks) and considers himself to be a better boss than Faiz (even though Faiz is the one with a job).

When a boy at school goes missing, Jai decides to use the crime-solving skills he has picked up from episodes of Police Patrol to find him. With Pari and Faiz by his side, Jai ventures into some of the most dangerous parts of the sprawling Indian city; the bazaar at night, and even the railway station at the end of the Purple Line. But kids continue to vanish, and the trio must confront terrified parents, an indifferent police force and soul-snatching djinns in order to uncover the truth.

Djinn Patrol is storytelling at its best’ Anne Enright, Booker-prize winning author of The Gathering

‘Irresistibly brimming with character and personality, I couldn’t stop picking it up for the bright lights of the writing. I also love the fact that it addresses an important issue while opening a window on everyday life in India. Wonderful' Diana Evans


Have you ever been through periods when most books you pick up fail to ignite that magical spark? I’ve just emerged from one and Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line has been my saviour. Set in an imaginary Indian city, children start disappearing from an illegal slum. The police are corrupt, take bribes, yet do nothing. The local Hindu party tries to pin it on local Muslims generally and sectarian violence threatens to erupt. Nine-year-old slum dweller Jai, together with his friends, takes on the task of solving the case.

Told through the voice of Jai, this novel is pitch perfect as we travel through life in this Indian community with its entire vicissitudes. If you loved A Fine Balance, or Behind the Beautiful Forevers or just beautiful, engaging writing, then this book is for you. It’s truly brilliant.

Mark Rubbo is the managing director of Readings.

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