Every reporter wants that lead story to make the front page of a newspaper or a headline on a broadcast. Danny Jacobs is a colorful character with many different shades of personality. Sent to work in Bombay he wants to create his own brand and make his mark in life, adjust to being an ex-pat in a counter that still holds on to a servant under class. Stigmatism, those that are underclass and now Danny wants that scoop. Using the notes he found from his predecessor, he uses them to interview a man who stated he set the bomb that killer a police office in support of Marxist extremists. We meet his boss Frank who is brash, crass and is unrelenting in his requests and demands of him and other reporters. We feel his dismay when many stories are pulled right before he is supposed to leave for the location. Danny finds himself in a tenuous situation as he meets with the bomber and captures without his knowing it his face on film. This piece of evidence of the bomber and the people behind him must be kept hidden.
Danny has his own views on the social complexity of the Native American society. Everyone he meets adds to the intrigue and mystery as does Willy Smets and his girlfriend Sushmita who Danny finds himself totally in aur of. Danny meets a bigoted compatriot in Harlan and eve his own servant is suspect and arrested right in front of him. the story focuses on Emergency declaration following the court ordered nullification of the election of Gandhi in 1975. The actions taken by the Indian government might and could affect human rights and civil liberties at the time.
Relationships with women get in his way, the censorship of news he must get around it, Willy Smets just what is he up to and is he really a friend?
Civil liberties and democracy are threatened, political figures and opponents arrested. Daniel is dragged into the drug smuggling and human trafficking case by not only the smuggler but the CBI. Smets is not who you think he is, and he invites Danny to a party, falls for Sushmita and then his downfall as Smets is the smuggler.
His world is compromised in many directions as we learn more about someone named Russ, his servant that now works for the police force, Janice his secretary who has her hand on the pulse of what is going on. Then the politics and the stories what he can file this is a complicated plot. Plus, he becomes more engrossed and involved with two women.
Harlan Russ and Ranjit his servant was not who he thought they were. One is a special Agent in charge of the New Delhi bureau and the other CBI and various state Criminal investigation Departments who now expected something from Danny related to Willy Smets who is into illicit opium and drug trafficking and much more. But will he do what they ask?
Willy, Chhortu and Harlan and Sushmita who can he trust and what will the result be? Will he agree to be a snitch?
Danny comes clean to his boss; Frank and he believe it or not comes up with plan that might work to get a story and book in the end. Will he agree? Plus, the film that he has hidden and then lost that is at the heart of the novel since it is a photo of the killer who killed the CID officer. What happened to it?
Danny falls hard for Sushmita and at times puts himself in situation that not only compromise what he is supposed to do to help the authorities but also what he is doing for Willy. Guilt on all sides as Willy he thinks is his friend and he in the end will learn that someone else blindsided him and part of his life is a big lie.
Thinking that he is staying somewhere that Sushmita owns or even in a safe place with Willy, he agrees to make delivers for him and receives you might say the royal treatment and more. But Harlan and Ranjit want to learn more about his trip to Napal, why he was there, and he knew he still had a story to do a film story for Frank.
Then he learns what we spoke about at the start is the result with the PM and what the court decided. Added in Willy learns about his betrayal, he learns about the fact that Birgit has something to do with his escape and even more Janice is friend and the public prosecutor confiscated his passport to prevent him from leaving India. He was locked in and could not leave India until this was over. Inspector Lokhande and Danny had a long talk in his office when he told him how about his escape in Poona. He told him that Bikas was working for Willy and who had ordered his on his nephew. But in the end who will be left standing and who will pay the price for the lies, betrayals, and more?
Coming face to face with Willy and hearing his words, learning the untold truths that he learned were lies, how he was manipulated and used, Danny learns the harsh realities of live and being so trustworthy and naïve. In the end Willy and Chhotu confront him. Will he kill Danny? Will someone once again safe him? What is the result and where will he wind up? What about the story he so longed to file? An ending that will leave you wondering when you read the last page and last line. Where is he going next and what is next for Danny? Characters that are not likeable, each out for their own wants, needs and benefits and in the end when the Bombay Monsoon pours down on them with heavy rains and wind who will get drenched, who will get wet and who will stay dry? The author created a mystery willed with twists, turns, deceptions, betrayals and misplaced loyalties.
Fran Lewis Just reviews