Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Brajesh's Review : Night Train to Jamalpur

The beautiful colorful cover of this book by Andrew Martin, and a prominent display in the book-shop made me buy this book. I am so happy that I got influenced by the jacket summary and bought the book, since it gave me an opportunity to immerse myself in the exotic world of 1923 Calcutta.

One of the endorsement blurbs says that "Andrew’s novels are works of literature and not simply puzzles", I couldn’t agree more.

Since the book is heavy on period & settings, it feels a little slow and uncomfortable to begin with. But once I got used to the prose and pace of the book, it was like sipping on Vintage Scotch. Each page gave me greater and greater pleasure and I just didn’t want the book (bottle) to ever get-over.

This book is difficult to categorize, as it is quite unusual from the regular thrillers and suspense novels which rely essentially on twists and turns to keep you hooked. This book is more like watching a Merchant Ivory period drama, where the setting and stage is reason enough to keep reading.

I would recommend "Night Train to Jamalpur" to every person who has ever taken a train journey, and a compulsory read to all Calcutta lovers.

The book for me turned extra contextual as I read the part about the snakes in a train compartment during a train journey from Ahmedabad to Bhopal. I only wished my compartment and companions were half as exotic as the ones in this book.

I am going to pick up two more from Andrew Martin’s historical crime series. These will be “The Somme Stations” and “Death on a Branch Line”. By setting his stories against the backdrop of the British railway network, which is spread across the Globe, it gives him multiple opportunities to keep building the fascinating franchise of Jim Stringer.

Rating : 4 / 5

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