Missing (Bombay Crime Bureau #3), by Krishnaraj HK

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to Krishnaraj HK for providing me with a copy of this novella, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

I was pleased to be handed yet another ARC for this series, a well-paced novella this time. Always ready to enjoy a great police procedural, I was eager to return to the Bombay Crime Bureau, where SSP Dev Shinde has a daunting case on his blotter. Using an Indian flavouring to advance the story, Krishnaraj succeeds once more with this series, keeping the reader guessing until the very end. Well-paced and with a few twists at the right spots, I found myself devouring the latest in the series.

After a young woman leaves a note to say that she’s gone off with her lover, the family is unsure how to proceed. Noor’s husband cannot face the rejection and won’t go looking for her, while their son is only ten and cannot wrap his head around what’s happened. Local police treat this with disdain and choose to let a number of days go by without putting any effort into the search. What’s even more baffling is that many of the city’s CCTV cameras show no sign of Noor whatsoever. Something seems off, but local police remain disinterested.

SSP Dev Shinde and the Bombay Crime Bureau are soon brought in to lead the case, with too many loose ends left dangling. Shinde has his team begin the investigation from scratch, in case previous members of the squad missed something. Questioning anyone and everyone, SSP Shinde and the Crime Bureau soon make a little headway in the form of another missing person, this time a young girl. Might the two be connected? If anyone can figure that out, it’s SSP Dev Shinde. Still, it will take all his efforts and a keen sense of the criminal mind to bring things to a reasonable close. A great story that takes the reader on quite the journey.

It was a gamble when first I tried one of these ARCs, but found myself completely absorbed and intrigued with how Krishnaraj writes and presents his stories. I readily accepted this latest police procedural novella, still waiting in for the full-length novel the author promised is on its way. I hoped that it would prove to be as strong as the previous publications, soon proven correct. The story is clear and creates twists throughout to keep the reader on their toes. Introducing the reader to some great characters and policing techniques, Krishnaraj has done it again with this story.

Police procedurals often require strong narrative direction, particularly for those unfamiliar with the local customs or laws. The reader can easily follow Krishnaraj’s writing, which keeps things moving briskly. Characters offer some depth throughout, which provides strong development. Plot twists keep the reader wondering, as well as providing an unpredictable realisation when things come together. I gladly read these shorter piece, but am also waiting for the full novel that appears to be ‘just around the corner’.

Kudos, Mr. Krishnaraj, for reaching out and providing a wonderful way to pass a few hours. Keep the stories coming, whenever you can.