On The Trail of Thugs and Thieves by Aloke Lal and Maanas Lal

As someone who usually sticks to fiction, I took a chance on this non-fiction gem due to its intriguing title and the rave reviews about Maanas Lal’s clever storytelling of his father Aloke Lal’s actual investigations – and I’m so glad I did.

The book is written with a graceful simplicity and a touch of humor that makes it impossible to put down once you start. It weaves together eight real-life stories of a decorated cop, not just for entertainment but to shed light on the startling things humans can do to each other in dire situations.

Here’s a line from the book’s blurb that resonates with the reader.

Crimes against humanity hold a universal truth: poverty is the worst form of violence. Its wounds run deep as they violate basic human rights and dignity.

My favourites from the book:

  1. There Was Too Much Darkness There…

An accident between Sangam Express and a Goods Train in Kanpur Dehat district in 1980. Thirty-two dead. A five-year-old’s first encounter with death. Human vultures stealing from the dead. If the paranormal encounters in Ghost Hunter gave me chills, the evil side of humans in this chapter made my blood curl.

Lines from the book that imprint into the reader’s mind – The scene was akin to a garment store where the staff can be seen putting together limbs, heads and torsos of mannequins before dressing them up with the latest display. It is only that the task we were addressing was far more complex and gruesome.

2. Bullet Digs Deep

Bullet is a rottweiler who helps the Police solve a crime. I think that’s reason enough for this story to be in your favourites.

Looking forward to reading more from India’s Favourite Crime-writing duo.

Get your copy here: On The Trail of Thugs and Thieves

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