When a young woman comes forward saying she’s the reincarnation of Riya Kaur, a wife and mother who vanished during the bloody 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Vish Puri is dismissive. He’s busy enough dealing with an irate matrimonial client whose daughter is complaining about her groom’s thunderous snoring. Puri’s indomitable Mummy-ji however is adamant the client is genuine. How else could she so accurately describe under hypnosis Riya Kaur’s life and final hours?
Driven by a sense of duty – the original case was his late father’s – Puri manages to acquire the police file only to find that someone powerful has orchestrated a cover-up. Forced into an alliance with his mother that tests his beliefs and high blood pressure as never before, it’s only by delving into the past the help of his reincarnated client that Puri can hope to unlock the truth.
I’m kicking myself that I’ve only now discovered this fabulous series. But better late than never!
The Case of the Reincarnated Client is the fifth novel featuring Vish Puri as its hero. Or rather anti-hero, since he’s an unassuming, kind man who much prefers the quiet life and really doesn’t want to be called on to do heroic acts. He is very much at the beck and call of Mummy-ji, who is actually the driving force behind this novel in that she insists that Vish takes this case on. Poor man, he has no choice!
The setting is modern-day Mumbai and the atmosphere is one of endless noise, colour and activity. The pace of life is frenetic, yet somehow it doesn’t sweep Vish along with it. He takes his time, especially over meals, and remains sedate, almost ponderous, but resolute.
Not only are we thoroughly entertained in this book but we learn some Indian history and get a revealing glimpse of its modern culture too.
All the characters we come across are fascinating, most of them borderline eccentric if not beyond, and they are all a joy to encounter. There’s lots of humour and quirkiness in the novel and it’s one that really gets under your skin and won’t give you any rest until you’ve finished it. You just have to know what unexpected thing is going to happen next!
An excellent book that I wholeheartedly recommend.
About the author
Tarquin Hall is a British author and journalist who has previously lived in the USA, Pakistan, India, Kenya and Turkey. He now divides his time between the UK and India and is married to BBC reporter and presenter Anu Anand. He is the author of four previous Vish Puri mysteries and The Delhi Detective’s Handbook.
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