When more and more of Jai’s friends begin to mysteriously disappear, he – as the biggest crime series fan in his basti – decides to carry out his own investigation with Faiz and Pari. However, what starts as a game for bored kids soon turns into a dark story, in which the adults wring their hands in despair, and the police and officials are completely indifferent to the fate of families from the impoverished neighborhoods.
Deepa Anappara sets the story of Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line in a no-name city but it could take place in every Indian metropolis. Although the story is purely fictional, it shows Anappara’s journalistic expertise – she explains her interest in the problem of missing children in the afterword. Mind you, she doesn’t romanticize poverty, nor does she look down on her characters.
Even though the book may appear at first as a naive story from a child’s point of view, with each page, we feel the growing helplessness of Jai and his close ones. But first and foremost: this is a well-conceived story that will take us for a few hours to one of the Indian neighborhoods, with all the smells, sounds, problems, and joys.