It’s a dark, smog-choked new Delhi winter. Indian American single mother Anjali Morgan juggles her job as a psychiatrist with caring for her autistic teenage son. She is in a long-standing affair with ambitious police commissioner Jatin Bhatt – an irresistible attraction that could destroy both their lives.
Jatin’s home life is falling apart: his handsome and charming son is not all he appears to be, and his wife has too much on her plate to pay attention to either husband or son. But Jatin refuses to listen to anyone, not even the sister to whom he is deeply attached.
Across the city there is a crime spree: slum women found stuffed in trash bags, faces and bodies disfigured by acid. And as events spiral out of control Anjali is horrifyingly at the centre of it all …
In a sordid world of poverty, misogyny, and political corruption, Jatin must make some hard choices. But what he unearths is only the tip of the iceberg. Together with Anjali he must confront old wounds and uncover long-held secrets before it is too late.
Disclaimer: I received a physical copy of the book from Simon and Schuster India in exchange for an honest review! However, the thoughts, opinions expressed in the review are entirely my own.
It’s hard to believe, at first glance that You Beneath Your Skin is the author’s debut novel – there is quite the sophistication in the way that the plot is put forward and the way it grips the reader’s attention, that is only found in the seasoned writers.
Set in New Delhi, India; You Beneath Your Skin, is a psychological crime thriller that shows the city I live in, in an entirely new perspective.
While the book has a multitude of characters within its pages, the primary focus is on Anjali Morgan, a psychiatrist by trade and a mother to a teenage autistic son, whose past is shrouded in mystery, but she has now settled in her life in Delhi, well as settled as she can be, with the challenges of raising an autistic son and a decade long affair with a married man; Jatin Bhatt.
Our second protagonist, Jatin Bhatt; an ACP with the Delhi Police; has his own demons to deal with – his professional life is steeped in corruption, a game that he has no choice but to play, if he wants the coveted seat of CP of Delhi Police. His marriage is nothing to write home about, complicated with his affair with Anjali, but his pride and joy is his teenage son, Varun.
Riding along is Jatin’s Father In Law and his boss, the current CP and his sister; Anjali’s roommate, Maya, who works as a private detective and suffers from a skin disease that has hampered her social life greatly all the while helping with some of Jatin’s cases.
When women start being brutally raped and murdered, Jatin sees this highlighted case as a chance to further his career; but neither of our players realise just how very close to home this case will hit for all of them.
Like I said, at the start of the review, this book doesn’t feel or read like a debut novel; the way the author put forth an atmospheric New Delhi in the middle of winter along with the feeling of the spookiness that is so October-ish that it makes for the perfect read to immerse yourself in the spooky month of October.