In My Hands Today…

A Death in the Family – Michael Stanley

23848306“There’s no easy way to say this, Kubu. Your father’s dead. I’m afraid he’s been murdered.”

Faced with the violent death of his own father, Assistant Superintendent David ‘Kubu’ Bengu, the smartest detective in the Botswana police, is baffled. Who would kill such a frail old man? Kubu’s frustration grows as his boss, Director Mabaku, bans him from being involved in the investigation.

The picture becomes even murkier with the apparent suicide of a government official. Are Chinese mine-owners involved? And what role does the US Embassy have to play?

Set amidst the dark beauty of modern Botswana, A Death in the Family is a thrilling insight into a world of riots, corruption, and greed, as a complex series of murders presents the opera-loving detective with his most challenging case yet. When grief-stricken Kubu defies orders and sets out on the killers’ trail, startling and chilling links emerge, spanning the globe and setting a sequence of shocking events in motion. Will Kubu catch the killers in time?

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In My Hands Today…

Dahanu Road: A novel – Anosh Irani

7919341“The only statement of revolt the poor could make was to put an end to their own misery. It happened all the time—men lay themselves on train tracks, hanged themselves from trees, consumed rat poison, and women set their kerosene-soaked bodies alight in front of their husbands. These were blazing ends to insignificant journeys. But in all this, there was always one man who, in that final gush of blood, in that final breaking of neck and bone, set things in motion.”

Zairos Irani, a young man of inherited leisure, is meandering through his family’s lush chickoo orchards near Mumbai when he comes across a distressing sight: Hanging from one of the fruit trees is the lifeless body of Ganpat, a worker from the indigenous Warli tribe. Ganpat’s ancestors once owned the land, before his father’s alcohol debts caused the deed to be transferred to Zairos’s grandfather Shapur. The two family destinies have been entwined ever since, ancient grudges once again awoken by Ganpat’s final desperate act.

Zairos feels obliged to notify Ganpat’s family before the authorities come to ask needless questions and extract bribes. A tractor bearing Ganpat’s sister and anguished daughter Kusum soon trundles into the orchard, and when Kusum alights, Zairos’s curiosity is piqued. As a landowner, he knows that he is well above her station, and yet her dignity and beauty lead him to cast aside taboos and risk the wagging tongues of neighbourhood gossips. Though wary at first, the grieving Kusum comes to return his affection, asking only that he assist her in achieving what her dead father could not- by putting an end to the violence she has endured at the hands of a drunken husband.

Zairos cannot get advice from his father Aspi, whose clownishness masks thinly-veiled nihilism. Nor can he confide in his beloved grandfather Shapur, whose massive hands planted the chickoo trees that he adores as much as his own sons. Shapur built the family empire from a desperate start as an orphaned refugee, and any act that might threaten the delicate legacy spawned by his sacrifices would only provoke rage in the old man, who increasingly dwells in memories. So Zairos whiles away his time at Anna’s, the local haunt for the male leisure class, dreaming of a future with Kusum. There, with the support of some equally underemployed sidekicks, Zairos hatches a scheme to scare Kusum’s husband into releasing her, while keeping his own moral integrity intact. But alas, Zairos’s scheme will not unfold as planned, and along the way, he will unwittingly expose family secrets that may well be better left buried…

In My Hands Today…

Waiting for the Monsoon – Threes Anna

12804805India, 1995. Charlotte Bridgwater lives with her father, a former British general, and just one loyal servant in a stately old mansion in the town of Rampur. Money is scarce and the once grand estate is crumbling.

In a desperate bid to generate income, Charlotte rents a room to Madan, an Indian tailor with an astonishing talent for making beautiful garments. Madan is unable to communicate verbally, but the two have an immediate and electrifying connection. And, as the extreme heat before the impending monsoon paralyzes the residents of Rampur, the details of their lives unfold: Charlotte’s unhappy childhood and the early death of her husband, Madan’s poverty-stricken life on the streets, and how and when their paths have crossed before.

In My Hands Today…

To Love a Sunburnt Country – Jackie French

23449436The year is 1942 and the world is at war. Nancy Clancy is 16 and left school to spend a year droving, just like her grandfather Clancy of the Overflow was famed for. Now Nancy’s family has sent her to Malaya to bring home her sister-in-law Moira and baby Gavin. Moira is British and married to Nancy’s brother Ben, who is now a soldier. Malaya is under threat from the Japanese, but despite the warnings, Moira has resisted leaving as she wants to stay near her husband.

When Malaya is invaded, Nancy, Moira and Gavin are fortunate to get out before Singapore falls. When their ship is bombed they end up stranded on an island where they, and some other colonial women, are captured. There begins the nightmare and horror of internment in a Japanese camp. Back home at Gibber’s Creek families are doing their bit for the war. They worry constantly about their men who are fighting – and now those who are missing after Singapore falls. Powerful, compelling and confronting, this is a book that pulls no punches.

In My Hands Today…

Origins of Love – Kishwar Desai

14743860In Delhi, a small baby lies alone and abandoned. The product of IVF and surrogacy, she had been so coveted – until she was born with a fatal illness. No one knows how the infection could have been transferred to the child, but one thing is certain: no one wants her now.

Thousands of miles away in London, Kate and Ben are desperate for a baby. But, despite all their efforts, fate seems to be skewed against them. Then, as Kate suffers another miscarriage, she knows something has to change. She has heard of women who are prepared to carry a baby for others, and she knows this might be a way to finally find happiness. But will her desire for a baby stop at nothing…?

And between the two, feisty social worker Simran Singh is determined to uncover the truth behind the shadowy façade of the multi-million dollar surrogacy industry. Women and children are being exploited, their lives thrown away like so much dust. Is she is the only person prepared to stand up for what is right…?