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Publisher's Summary

Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2020

Three weeks ago I was only a schoolkid, but now I’m a detective and also a tea-shop boy....

Nine-year-old Jai watches too many reality cop shows, thinks he’s smarter than his friend Pari (even though she always gets top marks) and considers himself to be a better boss than Faiz (even though Faiz is the one with a job).

When a boy at school goes missing, Jai decides to use the crime-solving skills he has picked up from episodes of Police Patrol to find him. With Pari and Faiz by his side, Jai ventures into some of the most dangerous parts of the sprawling Indian city, the bazaar at night and even the railway station at the end of the Purple Line. But kids continue to vanish, and the trio must confront terrified parents, an indifferent police force and soul-snatching djinns in order to uncover the truth.

©2019 Deepa Anappara (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

‘'A moving and confident novel about the preciousness of life." (Nikesh Shukla)

"A brilliant debut." (Ian McEwan)

"Djinn Patrol is storytelling at its best." (Anne Enright, Booker-prize winning author of The Gathering)

What listeners say about Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

First half dragged, climax over too soon

I need to first rant about the protagonist narrator. Of all the talented Indians willing to render their services, why pick up someone with such bad command on Hindi words. specially for a novel which has so many hindi words. Imagine hearing daba for dhaba everytime, and other bad narration for simple Hindi words. my overall experience was ruined by him and I wanted to stop early in the novel. the other two narrators were a relief to hear to. coming to the story- I felt I was watching scenes directly from Slumdog Millionaire, updated to the current decade. the first half dragged a bit too much for my liking, repeating similar life stories of the characters too often. also I felt there were too many stereotypes, the author did not work on the fringe characters at all. I guess the author just penned what she saw as a journalist many years ago. bringing in the religious factor was not done tactfully, too much is understood before the plot unveils. the climax makes me recall an event that actually took place many years ago in NCR with similar plotline and conclusion. Here, the author had an opportunity to delve deeper, but she rushed through it unsatisfactory. At the end, I wondered if this is actually a book for under 10, than an adult. also, I heard the afterword and I realised that the author was riding on a popular opinion wave which pseudo intellectuals feel entitled to share. Overall, I was put off by the ending, copied without effort from that NCR event, so thus my rating.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Vivienne
  • 01-02-20

A Powerful Novel Giving Voice to the Children

This was a moving, powerful novel that through the voices of the children living in the poorest sections of an Indian city confronts a horrific reality in the disappearance of children. It was in places painful to read but I felt an important novel that deserves a wide readership.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Hamza Jahanzeb
  • 12-02-20

A perfect part coming-of-age, part detective story

I absolutely loved this audiobook after having enjoyed reading the book. Listen to it now!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gary B.
  • 25-08-20

Rarely heard voice in literature

Something about the innocence and kindness of the narrator made this very sad story tolerable and even hopeful; forgotten and ignored children are the centrepiece here and I am better for having listened to 'their' story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • R. Thakrar
  • 14-10-20

An insight to the slums through a 9 year old boy

Interesting take on the dark side of India's poorest communities through the eyes of Jai, a nine year old boy. I enjoyed listening to the story and how Jai applied his own innocent logic and reasoning to the often dark activities he encounters within the book. The audio performance was good and kept me drawn into the characters.