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The Blue Bar

(The first book in the Blue Mumbai series)
A novel by

On the dark streets of Mumbai, the paths of a missing dancer, a serial killer, and an inspector with a haunted past converge in an evocative thriller about lost love and murderous obsession.

After years of dancing in Mumbai’s bars, Tara Mondal was desperate for a new start. So when a client offered her a life-changing payout to indulge a harmless, if odd, fantasy, she accepted. The setup was simple: wear a blue-sequined saree, enter a crowded railway station, and escape from view in less than three minutes. It was the last time anyone saw Tara.

Thirteen years later, Tara’s lover, Inspector Arnav Singh Rajput, is still grappling with her disappearance as he faces a horrifying new crisis: on the city’s outskirts, women’s dismembered bodies are being unearthed from shallow graves. Very little links the murders, except a scattering of blue sequins and a decade’s worth of missing persons reports that correspond with major festivals.

Past and present blur as Arnav realizes he’s on the trail of a serial killer and that someone wants his investigation buried at any cost. Could the key to finding Tara and solving these murders be hidden in one of his cold cases? Or will the next body they recover be hers?

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"A hard-hitting tale full of twists, drama, murder, and mystery that kept me riveted to the very last word and set in a world you think you know, but have no idea." - Yasmin Angoe

"It's almost unfair to describe Damyanti Biswas's The Blue Bar as a page-turner - which, believe me, it is. But that was my problem - at every turn of the page I wanted to go back and re-read the lush descriptions of Indian culture and daily life, the marvelous character sketches, the intriguing settings at once familiar and foreign. This isn't just a great thriller - it's an immersive fictional experience by a writer at the top of her game." - David Corbett

"An intense, visceral thriller that... will leave you breathless!" - Lisa Gardner

"This Mumbai-set story is simply gripping. It's about a detective who realizes his lover - who went missing over a decade ago wearing a blue sequined dress - might be the victim of a serial killer. I read it in one day." - Kellye Garrett

"The Blue Bar will assault your senses as the setting comes alive in this intricately woven mystery. It examines the gritty, corrupt politics of Mumbai as an inspector tries to solve cases of dismembered women when he doesn't know who to trust within his own ranks. A tale of loyalty, love, and revenge, this sophomore novel by Biswas is not to be missed." - Jaime Lynn Hendricks

"The Blue Bar is one of those books that tattoos itself onto your bones - the luscious language, the glorious sense of place, a mystery that draws you in deep, so deep that you forget there's a world around you. Best of all is Inspector Arnav Singh Rajput, the tender, lionhearted man at the story's center who will stop at nothing to see that justice is done. I'll be thinking about this one for a long time." - Jess Lourey

"Immersive, propulsive, and beautifully written. In this gaspingly authentic police procedural about a missing dancer and the inspector who cannot forget her, Biswas transports us to India - not only to investigate a grisly and sinister series of murders but to explore the dark and disturbing life of Mumbai's bar girls. With its heartbreaking love story and Biswas's revealing social commentary, The Blue Bar will change you, haunt you, and have you understanding the world in a different way." - Hank Phillippi Ryan

"Dive into Mumbai's seedy underworld in this absorbing and fast-paced crime thriller. Damyanti Biswas never fails to impress with The Blue Bar. Filled with characters who will enchant you and others who'll repulse you, action and mystery are weaved through corrupt police, Bollywood, and sultry dance bars. Don't miss this gripping thriller!" - Rob Samborn

"In the mangrove swamps of Mumbai, dismembered bodies keep turning up. Damyanti Biswas lets us smell the spices and feel the sultry air in the city's criminal underbelly as we root for detective Arnav and Tara to unmask the killer before he finds them first. Your pulse will race." - Kristin Wright

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