Synopses & Reviews
Rosalind Bengal is a radio journalist and producer for true-crime TV. After twenty years in London, she still wakes with the cinnamon taste of cassia leaves in her mouth, a dream from her childhood in India, when her father taught her about meteorology and her mother about alchemy. One day, a letter comes from her sister, now married to a famous Bombay film director: "People tell me he murdered his first wife". Despite her fear of being drawn back into the murky patterns of her lost, drowned past, Roz returns to India.
In Bombay, the monsoon season is imminent and the brutal murder of a transvestite with links to "Bollywood" leads to events that eerily threaten the two sisters. Roz realizes that her best weapon is not a gun but her knowledge of chemistry and Shakespeare, of storm and gene patterns. Also, she can't forget those "fairy tales from the monsoon nights when I was taught to see snakes as no more than roaming spirits in search of high ground".
What does Roz find in her dangerous search? Is it authentic or fake? Murder or suicide? Real life or cinematic magic? In Bombay, boundaries shift, gangsters imitate movie stars, sea becomes land, and the monsoon changes everything. This striking first novel -- part thriller, part meditation on the nature of chaos -- is a tale of extraordinary brilliance, wit, and hypnotic appeal.