A Disappearance in Fiji by Rao, Nilima

A Disappearance in Fiji

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A charming and atmospheric debut mystery featuring a 25-year-old Indian police sergeant investigating a missing persons case in colonial Fiji

1914, Fiji: Akal Singh, 25, would rather be anywhere but this tropical paradise--or, as he calls it, "this godforsaken island." After a promising start to his police career in Hong Kong, Akal has been sent to Fiji as punishment for a humiliating professional mistake. Lonely and grumpy, Akal plods through his work and dreams of getting back to Hong Kong or his native India.

When an indentured Indian woman goes missing from a sugarcane plantation and Fiji's newspapers scream "kidnapping," the inspector-general reluctantly assigns Akal the case. Akal, eager to achieve redemption, agrees--but soon finds himself far more invested than he could have expected.

Now not only is he investigating a disappearance, but also confronting the brutal realities of the indentured workers' existence and the racism of the British colonizers in Fiji--along with his own thorny notions of personhood and caste. Early interrogations of the white plantation owners, Indian indentured laborers, and native Fijians yield only one conclusion: there is far more to this case than meets the eye.

Nilima Rao's sparkling debut mystery offers an unflinching look at the evils of colonialism, even as it brims with wit, vibrant characters, and fascinating historical detail.

Author: Nilima Rao
Publisher: Soho Crime
Published: 06/06/2023
Pages: 288
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1lbs
Size: 8.30h x 5.60w x 1.10d
ISBN: 9781641294294


Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 04/03/2023
Kirkus Reviews 04/15/2023
Booklist 05/01/2023 pg. 26
Library Journal 05/01/2023 pg. 72

About the Author
Nilima Rao is a Fijian Indian Australian who has always referred to herself as "culturally confused." She has since learned that we are all confused in some way and has been published on the topic by Australia's Special Broadcasting Service as part of the SBS Emerging Writers Competition and now feels better about the whole thing. When she isn't writing, Nilima can be found wrangling data (the dreaded day job) or wandering around Melbourne laneways in search of the next new wine bar. A Disappearance in Fiji is her first novel, and she is currently working on the second in the series.

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