I hate the rain…I hate it, hate it, hate it. But the rain can’t stop me. No one can…I’ll go out and play tonight. I will kill only four. No more, no less. Just four.’
I bought Bhaskar Chattopadhyay’s book at the Delhi airport. The title intrigued me, the front cover had an endorsement from director Sriram Raghavan, and the back cover promised a zippy read: “In the midst of one of the worst monsoons in Mumbai, a man is found brutally murdered, his body posed like a kite on the tallest cell tower in the city. As one corpse after another turns up in the unlikeliest of places, each gruesomely killed and carefully arranged in a grotesque manner, the Mumbai Police realize they have more on their hands than they can deal with.”
By the time I landed in Mumbai, I was well into the book. Detective Chandrakant Rathod waded confidently through the ever-pouring rain and the thickening plot. To my surprise, the killer was revealed and caught quickly enough. It was then that the real poser popped up: a fresh set of killings, executed in a similar sadistic style. By this time, the sleepless Rathod was dealing with increasingly heavy headaches. It didn’t help that a beautiful, mysterious woman was emerging as a suspect…
Chattopadhyay has a good eye for detail, and paints the monsoon well. His lead character is well-etched, and the writing style is easy and flawless. I have to admit the ending left me wishing it were more plausible. But two things are for sure: this is an author to watch out for, and if you enjoy thrillers, Patang is your ticket to a fun ride.