The Blue Bar
On the dark streets of Mumbai, the paths of a missing dancer, a serial killer, and an inspector with a haunted past converge in an evocative thriller about lost love and murderous obsession.
After years of dancing in Mumbai’s bars, Tara Mondal was desperate for a new start. So when a client offered her a life-changing payout to indulge a harmless, if odd, fantasy, she accepted. The setup was simple: wear a blue-sequined saree, enter a crowded railway station, and escape from view in less than three minutes. It was the last time anyone saw Tara.
Thirteen years later, Tara’s lover, Inspector Arnav Singh Rajput, is still grappling with her disappearance as he faces a horrifying new crisis: on the city’s outskirts, women’s dismembered bodies are being unearthed from shallow graves. Very little links the murders, except a scattering of blue sequins and a decade’s worth of missing persons reports that correspond with major festivals.
Past and present blur as Arnav realizes he’s on the trail of a serial killer and that someone wants his investigation buried at any cost. Could the key to finding Tara and solving these murders be hidden in one of his cold cases? Or will the next body they recover be hers?
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: October 25, 2022
“An intense, visceral thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Biswas brings India to life in this tale of a determined detective fighting against his own department’s bureaucracy to catch a twisted serial killer who has spent years mastering his craft. Will leave you breathless!”
~Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling suspense novelist
“Immersive, propulsive, and beautifully written. In this gaspingly authentic police procedural about a missing dancer and the police officer who cannot forget her, Biswas transports us to India—not only to investigate a string of murders, but to explore the dark and disturbing life of Mumbai's bar girls. With its heart-breaking love story and Biswas’ revealing social commentary, THE BLUE BAR will change you, haunt you, and have you understanding the world in a different way.""
~Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today Bestselling Author of HER PERFECT LIFE
""THE BLUE BAR is one of those books that tattoos itself onto your bones—the luscious language, the glorious sense of place, a mystery that draws you in deep, so deep that you forget there’s a world around you. Best of all is Inspector Arnav, the tender, lion-hearted man at the story’s center who will stop at nothing to see that justice is done. I’ll be thinking about this one for a long time.”
~Jess Lourey, Edgar-nominated author of UNSPEAKABLE THINGS
“THE BLUE BAR will assault your senses as the setting comes alive in this intricately weaved mystery. It examines the gritty, corrupt politics of Mumbai as a good cop tries to solve cases of dismembered women when he doesn’t know who to trust within his own ranks. A tale of loyalty, love, and revenge, this sophomore novel by Biswas is not to be missed.”
~Jaime Lynn Hendricks, author of Finding Tessa and It Could Be Anyone
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Damyanti is an Indian author currently based in Singapore. Her short fiction has been published at Smokelong, Ambit, Litro, Puerto del Sol, among others. Her work appears in various anthologies, and she serves as one of the editors of The Forge literary magazine. Her Indian debut, You Beneath Your Skin, was published by Simon & Schuster India, and optioned for screen by Endemol Shine. Her US debut is slated for fall 2022.
Tags: Adult, Literary, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, BIPOC