Award-winning journalist and author's debut novel is 'storytelling at its best'

16 January 2020 - 13:03
'Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line' has been described as a 'brilliant debut'.
'Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line' has been described as a 'brilliant debut'.
Image: Supplied

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 a sprawling Indian city; the bazaar at night and even the railway station at the end of the Purple Line.

But children continue to vanish and the trio must confront terrified parents, an indifferent police force and soul-snatching djinns to uncover the truth.

About the author

Deepa Anappara grew up in Kerala, southern India, and worked as a journalist in cities including Mumbai and Delhi. Her reports on the impact of poverty and religious violence on the education of children won the Developing Asia Journalism Awards, the Every Human has Rights Media Awards and the Sanskriti-Prabha Dutt Fellowship in Journalism. A partial of her debut novel, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, won the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, the Bridport/Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award and the Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, and is studying for a PhD on a CHASE doctoral fellowship.

The critics say ...

'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

‘Irresistibly brimming with character and personality, I couldn’t stop picking it up for the bright lights of the writing. I also love the fact that it addresses an important issue while opening a window on everyday life in India. Wonderful’ — Diana Evans