Season of the Rainbirds – Nadeem Aslam
Set during a monsoon season in the 1980s in a small town in Pakistan, Season of the Rainbirds is centred on the mysterious reappearance of a sack of letters lost in a train crash nineteen years previously. Could the letters have any bearing on Judge Anwar’s murder? The letters and the judge’s death trigger a series of tragic events and as the murder investigation progresses, dark tales of passion and betrayal unfold and long-buried secrets come to light.
The narrative segues between several characters—the judge’s family, a cleric troubled by local inhabitants’ lapses, a Muslim deputy commissioner defiantly involved with a Christian woman, a feudal landlord and a crusading journalist reporting on the delivery of the mail packet—and comes to a head when the journalist disappears and the country lurches between fear and uncertainty following an assassination attempt on the president.