ARC Review: Greenlight by Kalpana Swaminathan

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author in exchange of an honest review. However, that does not affect the following review in any way. All opinions stated are my own and fully honest.

Genre: Crime fiction, mystery.


Pinki was the first to go.
It was past six when her mother noticed Pinki was missing.
They were still looking for Pinki three days later, when Jamila went missing.
They were looking for Jamila two days later, when Pinki’s parents found a parcel on their threshold.
It was a parcel, done in newspaper, trussed with string.
A parcel, as big as a large pillow.
Or, a small child.
By that time, Mary was missing.

The missing children of Kandewadi become a cause célèbre as febrile activism and media hype keep the violence resonating. When Lalli ignores the smokescreen and sets out to reveal the truth, she encounters the unimaginable.


I’ve never read any of the books from the Lalli series before and hadn’t even realized it’s the sixth on from the series until I was already halfway through. That didn’t really affect the story much though, since I’m guessing they’re all more or less stand-alones.

The one thing that raised my expectations of the book was the blurb. It’s intriguing to say the least. The story is narrated from Sita’s POV, who is Lalli’s niece. As soon as I realized this, I started spotting similarities between these characters and Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Of course, there were other characters involved and almost every one of them played a vital role. I loved the pace of the story, how it kept the readers’ on their toes while it built up to the climax. Some parts were a little too gory though, even for me and I’d advise readers’ discretion. In fact, some details just seem plain unnecessary and it just felt to me like the writer using this to keep the readers interested, which was not really needed in my opinion because she already had me hooked without it.

The climax was cruelly satisfying, and while I know a lot of people may refuse to believe people like them exist, I being a Bangladeshi, who have similar cultural and societal pressure on women as in India, can vouch that incidents like these are not uncommon in real life in this part of the world. Overall, it was a quick read, kept me on my toes and up all night to finish in one go.

Rating: ★★★★☆ | 4 out of 5 stars


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