If you’re looking for a detective novel set in India, look no further. The Slow Train To Rishikesh is a mesmerizing journey through the underbelly of Indian society, where deals are struck to save reputations, the public is deluded by a false sense of justice and the next industrial disaster is always waiting to happen around the next corner.
When Hiresh, a thirty-something investigator for the Central Bureau of Investigation is ordered to abandon his vacation in Rishikesh and go investigate a minor poisoning incident in the city of Indore, he soon finds this minor incident has blown up into a full scale catastrophe, with shoddily run factories, hundreds of people dead from pesticide poisoning and corporate malfeasance everywhere he turns. As Hiresh has seen hundreds of times before, unchecked capitalism and systematic payoffs have combined with greed and negligence to place profits above the well-being of everyday citizens. Worse still, Hiresh’s investigation quickly leads him to a shocking conclusion. This poisoning incident appears to have been the result of a deliberate act. But why? And by whom? Hinted at but never fully revealed until later in the story, Hiresh has his own dark secret from the past, a history that leads him inexorably back to just this sort of industrial accident.