Vaseem Khan

The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star

""This is a delightful and funny look at the India of today." "


This time, ex-Inspector Chopra and his trusty and unusual helper, Ganesh the baby elephant, venture into the fantastical and powerful world of Bollywood. Here powerful stars and producers mix daily with eye-watering sums of money. Personalities rule the roost and almost anything can happen. This time Vikram Verna, a rising star in the industry, disappears right in the middle of an extravagant performance. His mother, herself a significant member of the acting elite, hires Inspector Chopra's detective agency to find her son before he loses all credibility with the powers that be.

As he delves into the investigation, Inspector Chopra begins to uncover various motives that would cause the disappearance of Vikram. Vikram's own life comes under scrutiny and he definitely behaves as a spoiled only child. Renowned directors have secrets to hide.

Meanwhile, Chopra's assisitant, Rangwalla, pursues his own investigation involving the third sex - the Eunuchs of Mumbai. These people are isolated from the rest of the population and suffer discrimination and abuse. It is said that they run a lot of the crime in the area. The Queen of the eunuchs has a problem and she calls in the Baby Ganesh Detective Agency to solve it. The investigation leads Rangwalla into some curious and sometimes hilarious situations.

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This is a delightful and funny look at the India of today. Inspector Chopra and his family and friends are charming original characters who pursue a virtuous course through the corruption they find. The story is full of quirky twists and turns that could only be written by somebody who knows India well. I learnt a great deal about society in that bustling city of Mumbai. I went straight to Google to find out more about the Eunuchs and was amazed at what I discovered. Khan conveys a sense of the throbbing, vibrant collection of humanity that is Mumbai whilst providing an exciting plot that all fits satisfyingly together. I also found it laugh out loud funny in places. A most enjoyable book.

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