The Blue Bar: Blue Mumbai Thriller, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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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?
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 18 minutes|
|Audible.ca Release Date||January 01 2023|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #72,998 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#1,488 in Crime Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
#1,529 in Police Procedural Mysteries
#4,770 in Suspense (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from Canada
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As the bodies of murdered women are uncovered, the reader is given harrowing peeks into the mind of the murderer. Interwoven with these are the personal stories of bar dancer Tara and police inspector Arnav. Action scenes are humanized by elements of guilt, shame, regret, and broken trust. I was keen to find out what happened next and read the book quickly. At times it was a bit of a blur, as the characters raced from one place to another, almost always using cell phones to communicate and gather evidence.
The primary characters are well-developed and sympathetic. Enough is revealed about the secondary characters that they are distinct and memorable. I was particularly impressed by journalist (and Arnav's sometime girlfriend) Nandini, and his police colleague Tukaram. A character named Bilal is also intriguing and surprisingly sympathetic, given his relationship to the murderer.
Clues are scattered throughout the book, prompting me to formulate theories as I read about the identity of the killer. The ending includes a few shocking revelations and is both heart-wrenching and satisfying.
The first chapter was enough to captivate me and sweep me away into the muggy swamps and slums and through the crowds and the dark streets of the busiest city in India, Mumbai.
Amongst powerful elite film stars and businessmen, corrupt police officers, dangerous mafia dons, and shady government ministers, detective Arnav Singh Rajput finds himself in the middle of murder mysteries that ties the underworld, police officials, the film industry, and a strip club together. With a serial killer on the loose and cold cases coming to light, Arnav can’t help but let his mind wander to fourteen years ago when he last saw the love of his life, Tara, a young, troubled girl who worked at the strip club. She was last seen at a train station wearing a blue sequinned saree, a piece of material prominent as evidence in the recent murders Arnav is investigating.
I grew up watching Bollywood films of all genres. The Blue Bar felt like a cinematic, action and thriller-packed Indian murder mystery movie, which enhanced my reading experience to a whole new level! The vivid descriptions of criminal investigations and the underworld, the explicit settings, brilliant plotting, and character depth were written so well!
Beyond the writing lies the fleshed-out characters of Arnav and Tara. I loved young Arnav and young Tara even though with the glimpses into the past. The characters of Arnav and Tara, fourteen years later, felt like everything had changed, but their relationship and connection remained the same. I loved how they fit together so perfectly while having individual character development!
The ending felt overly fast-paced and rushed, especially after all the drama faded away, and things with the murder mystery were explained too quickly. The Blue Bar was definitely not the end of it, and despite being super excited for the sequel, I wish the ending was fleshed out and detailed more. It felt like a time jump, and certain things were skipped or ignored.
Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed The Blue Bar, and I absolutely loved the fact it had short chapters! I can’t wait to see what Damyanti Biswas comes up with in the sequel!
Thank you to the author for an ARC copy.
It is first and foremost a captivating noir mystery. It is also a provocative love story, between man and woman, between close friends, between mother and daughter. There are parallels and there are paradoxes. There are smoothly woven, subtle comparisons and then eye-blinking contrasts. It has hints of the exotic and then slaps of the downright shocking - the first in worlds some may wish to travel, and the latter in worlds most may never wish to see, but should have to. And Damyanti Biswas makes us. Because we shouldn't go through a life anywhere on this planet sticking our heads in the sand.
The ending in particular had such symbolic ironies that I found myself catching my breath. This piece of literature could be studied in any high school or university classroom, anywhere around the globe, in any language.
The Blue Bar is entertaining, educational and engrossing. I feel richer and a little more mature for having read it.
Top reviews from other countries
The plot is so well built up which only got thicker towards the end, and there is a huge surprise in the climax. Each of the character is strongly built especially that of Tara, which is also very endearing. If I were to pick out one unique thing about the book, it's the fact that the author introduces the criminal right in the early pages of the book but manages to keep the suspense going till the end. Now looking forward to the sequel.
Female protagonist is a well rounded persona as she ages well and matures across the pages. Male cop is a tad too Bollywood stereotype to be fully believable or relatable.
That aside, it's a well written, well paced, well plotted crime thriller. Go for it.
As I was halfway through the book, I felt it could have taken 50 odd pages less to reach the meat of the story. But by the time I reached the end, everything felt justified.
The character of Arnav - anagram of Ravan - was the best one. Humane, emotional, broken and above everything, honest. I hope he will be there in the subsequent books too.