Deepa Anappara – Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line


Discover the debut novel hailed as “brilliant” (Ian McEwan), “stunningly original” (Etaf Rum), “storytelling at its best” (Anne Enright), “a drama of childhood that is as wild as it is intimate” (Chigozie Obioma).

In a sprawling Indian city, three friends venture into the most dangerous corners of to find their missing classmate….

Down market lanes crammed with too many people, dogs, and rickshaws, past stalls that smell of cardamom and sizzling oil, below a smoggy sky that doesnt let through a single blade of sunlight, and all the way at the end of the Purple metro line lies a jumble of tin-roofed homes where nine-year-old Jai lives with his family. From his doorway, he can spot the glittering lights of the citys fancy high-rises, and though his mother works as a maid in one, to him they seem 1,000 miles away. Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line plunges listeners deep into this neighborhood to trace the unfolding of a tragedy through the eyes of a child as he has his first perilous collisions with an unjust and complicated wider world.

Jai drools outside sweet shops, watches too many reality police shows, and considers himself to be smarter than his friends, Pari (though she gets the best grades) and Faiz (though Faiz has an actual job). When a classmate goes missing, Jai decides to use the crime-solving skills he has picked up from TV to find him. He asks Pari and Faiz to be his assistants, and together they draw up lists of people to interview and places to visit.

But what begins as a game turns sinister as other children start disappearing from their neighborhood. Jai, Pari, and Faiz have to confront terrified parents, an indifferent police force, and rumors of soul-snatching djinns. As the disappearances edge ever closer to home, the lives of Jai and his friends will never be the same again.

Drawing on real incidents and a spate of disappearances in metropolitan India, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line is extraordinarily moving, flawlessly imagined, and a triumph of suspense. It captures the fierce warmth, resilience, and bravery that can emerge in times of trouble and carries the reader headlong into a community that, once encountered, is impossible to forget.

Author: Deepa Anappara
Narrator: Indira Varma, Himesh Patel, Antonio Aakeel
Duration: 9 hours 39 minutes
Released: 20 Apr 2002
Publisher: Random House Audio
Language: English

User Review:

gatekeeper behavioral

Anaparra lures you into the basti slum with her confident, young protagonist who dreams big even in such a poor place. However his spunk can only hold reality at bay for so long.
I hope this book reaches the hearts of those with the power to change the statistics. I certainly won’t forget the stories in it.