The Blue Bar - A Cultural Adventure

Thursday, December 22, 2022

The Blue Bar opens with Tara Mondal engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with whoever is watching her trying to disappear from a train station in an allotted time frame of three minutes.

The reader also meets Inspector Arnav Singh Rajput, who is called to a crime scene that eventually clues the police in to the gruesome activities of a long-time serial killer.

Tara and Arnav were lovers, and her disappearance years ago has messed with his mind and brings thoughts of her to the fore as he tackles this case. They eventually meet again and she becomes integral to the mystery.

I found The Blue Bar an eye-opening read regarding some aspects of Indian culture—the food, the holidays, their significance, the ethnic groupings, and gang activities. Plus, the background of the dance bars, the economics around them, and the lives of those involved in that world.

Biswas weaves a tale that keeps the reader guessing and paints an intimate portrait of the main players. At the end, I felt as if I’d met many of the cast members and understood what made them tick. It’s also the story of an unlikely romance between Tara and Arnav. I found myself rooting for two characters whose life situation was a far cry from the other. So distant that Tara didn’t believe herself worthy of his affection and attention.

Determining which antagonist was the serial killer was hard to do as the author threw in red herrings, which meant piecing clues together about a range of players.

At the half-way mark, I was fully engaged in figuring out who was obstructing, helping, hiding information, and making people disappear. Tragedy touched Tara in the taking down of the criminals, but she also found happiness. As with crime novels, the bad guys got what they deserved and justice triumphed for most parties. Of course, as with life, the guilty party put up roadblocks to avoid paying for crimes.

The Blue Bar is a well-written, thought-provoking story that gives deep insight into what is a foreign culture for many. I enjoyed learning more about Bollywood culture, the nuances of the holidays as well as various deities.

Also, the way the human mind can be twisted in childhood by those who should know better plays a huge part in the story's plotlines and outcome.

Those who appreciate literary crime novels will love The Blue Bar.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Don't be shy, I'd love to hear what you think.