Newly appointed as Glasgow’s first Asian DI, Alok Patel’s first assignment is the investigation of the brutal murder of Nadia, an Asian woman. Her body was discovered in the aftermath of the Mela festival in Kelvingrove Park. During the Mela, a small fight erupted between a BNP group and an Asian gang, but was quickly quelled by police.
When Nadia is accused of having an affair with a local man, even more questions about her death arise. Was her murder a crime of passion, or was it racially motivated? Could it be an honour killing? The deep-rooted tensions within Glasgow’s Asian communities bubble to the surface as DI Patel struggles with his parents, who disapprove of his relationship with his Muslim partner, Usma.
As DI Patel struggles to gain any help from the Asian community, another body is discovered in the West End- the body of a white man. Is this new murder fuelled by revenge? Killed by an Asian gang? As the list of murder suspects grows, DI Patel finds himself grappling with the pressures of his new rank, including the racism of at least one fellow officer.
This novel peels away the layers of Glasgow’s Asian communities, while exploring the complicated relationships between Asian people and the city.
If you love a fascinating and eclectic read you can really get caught up in that will make you think about it long after you’ve finished reading it, then Murder at the Mela might be your next favourite read. I’m always a sucker for any book that’s got the slightest connection to Scotland and I was really drawn in by DI Patel’s story and really wonder why I’ve not heard more people talking about it. I love books that grab me with a real ‘voice’ from the very first page and this book is a pageturner from the get-go. I read this across a dreich Scottish weekend – totally losing myself in its str. ong storyline and memorable insight into the Glaswegian Asian community
DI Patel is an extremely realistic character and the twists and turns of Nadia’s murder is portrayed so credibly that it’s easy to forget that this is fiction, you feel like it’s actually happening as you travel to Kelvingrove Park and other locations across the city, seeing things from a fresh new perspective and getting an insight into what life is like in the multicultural world of policing in the 21st century. Even the additional insight into his private life and getting to see that the families are nOt pleased when Usma, a Muslim starts dating Patel who is a Hindu. I very much enjoyed the balance of crime and domestic detail and it certainly kept me on my toes as there were plenty of clues and misdirections along the way to keep me turning the pages as a reader!
Leela Soma has a distinct voice and her plotting is sustained throughout the novel to ensure that you often feel like you know what’s happening next, but your expectations are turned on their head. This is a topical and satisfying read, where the police scenes are wonderfully realistic and DI Patel’s resourcefulness is brought to life for us as we experience his challenges in getting the community to talk and open up to the law as well as balance the demands of solving the case with the things that are going on in his own life.
If you want an original and energetically written book that brings a new and innovative detective life whilst keeping you on your toes with many a twist and turn to navigate you’ll love this book and I know a few book-loving friends who are definitely going to be snapping this up and enjoying a fresh insight into crime fiction with a scottish flavour and plenty of pageturning moments.
Why don’t you treat yourself to a copy and find out more about DI Patel’s crime solving approach in this strikingly original and enjoyable read. Thank you to lovely Emma @Damppebbles for inviting me onto the blog tour and as ever, it has been a pleasure to enjoy another fantastic crime recommendation from you!
Writer On The Shelf
Leela Soma was born in Madras, India and now lives in Glasgow, Scotland. She was a Principal Teacher of Modern Studies before deciding to write full time.
Her poetry and short stories have been published in a number of anthologies and publications most recently, Issue 5 of Gutter magazine. She won the Margaret Thomson Davis Trophy for Best New Writer 2007 for her then unpublished novel Twice Born which was later published on YouWriteOn.
She is on the Committee of the Milngavie Book & Art Festival and the Scottish Writer’s Centre.
Her writings reflect her experiences as a first generation Indo-Scot.
Ringwood Publishing: https://bit.ly/2ZAdb00
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/37vvKa0
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2ZBMtnI
Published in paperback and digital formats by Ringwood Publishing