Two new books–one, an anthology from Robbie Cheadle, and another, the debut novel from Damyanti Biswas. They’re nothing alike and both great:
- You Beneath Your Skin — an atmospheric novel about life and crime in New Delhi
- Through the Nethergate — a supernatural story about a young girl with second sight
by Damyanti Biswas
In Damyanti Biswas’ debut novel, You Beneath Your Skin (2019), single mother Anjali Morgan is trying to raise a difficult special needs child, Nikhil, while holding down a job and continuing a ten-year relationship with a man she loves–despite that he’s married. Things get even more complicated when her boyfriend Jatin Bhatt–Special Commissioner of Crime, Delhi Police–must investigate the serial murders of slum women who are often disfigured by acid. What Anjali never expected was that it would eventually involve her.
While this may sound like a contemporary murder mystery, it’s anything but. Oh my, what a read. I didn’t plan to devour this book but once I started, the atmosphere, culture, and characters swamped me. I couldn’t leave. Read these:“A short Nepali guard in a beige uniform hurried up the slope towards her, his whistle shrieking. ‘Yahan parking allowed nahin hai.’”“The sight of a light-skinned, blonde-haired woman, taller and broader than him, had clearly pissed this man off.”
“He wore an emerald for career growth, a sapphire and a cat’s eye to prevent misfortune.”
Though a crime novel, Biswas deftly integrates the psychological background of everyone involved into the action. From the first pages, I feel Anjali’s deep worry about her son, when he jumps from her stopped car and she can’t park fast enough to follow him. She knows he is now in danger and she’s not there to fix it. Every mother feels that way but the mother of an autistic child lives it. This works out but what about the next time?
While we follow Angali through her challenging home life, in her dedicated work among India’s poorest, I find myself in New Delhi with the thick smell of the smoggy dusty air, the passion of the people for a life filled with independence and energy. This book is highly recommended for those who love becoming part of what they read with no safe space to calmly watch the action from afar.
BTW, all of the proceeds from the sale of You Beneath Your Skin go to charities.
- Project WHY’s journey began in 2000 with 40 children who wanted to learn spoken English and a handful of volunteers. Over the years, as the number of children increased, their demands multiplied, new teachers were discovered within tiny jhuggis and lanes, and ad-hoc classrooms found. They started their first after-school support programme at Giri Nagar for children coming from underprivileged homes, and today through seven after-school support centres, they reach out to over 1100 children, 200 women and have created 50 job opportunities for people from the community. Their aim is to bridge the education gap for underprivileged children and improve their learning outcomes in a safe environment, as well as life-skills and all-round development for women.
- Stop Acid Attacks (SAA) is a campaign against acid violence. This organisation has been actively campaigning for the cause of acid attack survivors by continuously creating dialogue with the political and legal system, to bring about a social change. The survivor of an acid attack requires immediate medical, financial and psychological support on human grounds. But, the judicial procedures in this country do not assure any such intervention or help to the survivor until a court announces it. It is this loophole in the procedure of justice that they work on, by generating immediate medical and final support for the victims and providing them and their families the needed psychological and legal support. Using the visual medium, and engaging with their supporters worldwide through social media and the internet, they aim to sensitise and educate people about the gruesome nature of this crime, and the oppressive injustice of a gender-biased society.
So buy early and often! You will feel good about your investment.
by Robbie Cheadle
Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own. In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise. With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.
as a soft copy book from TSL Publications
It will be available on Amazon in a few weeks’ time.
Follow Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, In the Footsteps of Giants, Winter 2021. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning