‘Manu Joseph's new novel is a daring, page-turning thriller, filled with anger and wit and some of the loveliest sentences you will read this year’—Zoë Heller
Deceptively witty, profound and fiercely provocative, Manu Joseph’s cracking new novel poses big questions about political forces and religious division whilst also giving us a gripping chase with an ingenious twist. At its heart are the ordinary people, the watchers and the followers, and those who are trapped when buildings fall.
On the day that Hindu nationalists and their controversial leader have won a spectacular election victory, a large apartment building collapses in Mumbai. The rescue operation finds only one survivor, a man trapped under a beam, mumbling in delirium. But what he is saying is that a young Muslim couple are on their way to carry out a terror attack. Not only must they get him out, the police must find out what he knows, and act quickly.
A young woman, Akhila Iyer, a medical student but also a notorious prankster, has rushed to the scene. She is small and light enough to crawl along to the tunnel to the dying man to administer painkillers as they try to dig him out of the rubble. Akhila is the only link between him and the police, hearing what he is whispering.
Elsewhere, a young intelligence agent, Mukundan, is assigned to shadow the two terror suspects, one of whom is a teenager and the sweetheart of her street, the enigmatic Laila. A frantic chase gets underway.
Pervasive in its comic realism, wicked in its humour and broad-based in its canvas, Miss Laila, Armed and Dangerous is a bold, stylish and illuminating portrait of our age of globalisation and populist politics.