Novels in the series –
Cut Like Wound
Chain of Custody
About the detective –
Inspector Borei Gowda, more popularly known as Inspector Gowda (also referred to as B report Gowda by some peers and subordinates) is a resident of Greenview Residency, Bangalore. Presently posted at Bowring Hospital Station, his record of numerous transfers and delayed promotions is the result of having irked quite a few men in power. His medico wife Mamtha has taken a transfer to Hasan after their son Roshan has his MBBS course there. Riding a Royal Enfield bullet, Gowda leads a group of policemen named PC Byrappa, Gajendra and the new SI Santosh Gowda in the first novel ‘Cut like Wound.’ As the story unfolds, we are drawn into a world of crime, transgenders, sexual abuse while Gowda and his men try to unravel the layers of lies that can lead to the truth beneath. During this troublesome period where Gowda finds himself alienated from his wife and son, he reunites with his ex-flame from college, a child rights activist by profession, Urmila.
In the second book by the author, we see a feisty officer named Ratna join Gowda’s team. ‘Chain of custody’ has a complicated plot where Gowda, whose marital life seems to be in shambles is out to bust a child trafficking racquet. As a reader, it was quite difficult to not feel the pain of these innocent souls kidnapped or sold to the brothels. The story takes us to the darker lanes of the city where children have been ripped off their innocence and scarred for life. Extensive research and fieldwork have gone into writing this book which also has intricate details of the functioning of the police force. The book hits hard by questioning the collective conscience of society towards one of the worst kinds of crime.
Inspector Gowda is not really one of the refined or suave sleuths in literature. What we can visualize is a brave and intelligent man in charge of the law and order, despite his set of flaws. He drinks beyond his capacity, is easily angered and gets into a complicated relationship beyond marriage. The grey shades of the character make him quite human and his struggles to fight his inner demons seem quite real. As a reader, we also get to enjoy the ride of the ‘Garden City’ through the words of the author’s eyes.
My bookish connection –
After reading Anita Nair’s ‘Lessons in Forgetting’, I had read most of her books. ‘Cut like Wound’ released in 2012 when I was posted in Mysore. Having relocated from Bangalore a year before, I had been missing the city which had become my second home. I picked up the book, confident of the author’s ability to weave magic. And it surely lived up to the expectation because of the relatable characters and gripping premises on which the novel was set. However, in my opinion, the protagonist of the Gowda series will always be the city of Bangalore. Having lived in Karnataka for 12 years, out of which 7+ years were spent in Bangalore, Nair’s books make me feel severely nostalgic. More than the suspense and mystery elements, the locations, lanes, and festivals mentioned in her books bring out the true essence of the city. And that is why Gowda series will always stay close to my heart.
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