Canning Town author explores Bollywood for third Baby Ganesh Agency book
PUBLISHED: 13:33 24 May 2017 | UPDATED: 13:33 24 May 2017
A Canning Town author has taken on Bollywood for his latest crime fiction novel.
The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star is the third book in Vaseem Khan’s Baby Ganesh Agency series featuring Inspector Chopra and his elephant sidekick.
This time, Vaseem’s protagonist is on the trail of “bad boy” actor Vikram Verma who mysteriously disappears in front of a live audience while performing.
Set against the backdrop of Mumbai – with its class prejudices and modern vices – Inspector Chopra must take on feuding stars and death threats to find the kidnapped star before it’s too late.
“Everyone talks about Bollywood. it is a constant source of gossip and angst,” said Vaseem of his novel’s backdrop.
“My aim is to try to get readers to the part of modern India, not the mythologised version that we are used to in the West.”
The author, 43, says his writings fall under the “cozy crime” genre and are “not about blood, gore and horror”.
“It’s for anyone who loves a mystery and wants to be taken on a journey into an exotic place,” he said.
Unlike many of fiction’s many other hard-nosed shady detectives, Inspector Chopra has a wife who he “adores” and a non-magical elephant for companionship.
“He is a ridged and methodical man who believes in doing things the right way. He doesn’t believe in cutting corners. He is completely incorruptible,” Vaseem said.
Having spent 10 years in India, Vaseem is aware that the country’s national police force is susceptible to allegations of corruption.
“It does exist, particularly to a greater extent in places which are developing their societies,” he said. “India is still a developing society.”
Closer to home, Vaseem said the support from his fans was the most important part of his success after taking 23 years to find publishing success.
“Coming to this stage in my life, I did not expect to get published and then have a four-year book deal,” he said.
“Now it is much more important that readers are on the journey with me and I can interact with them.”
The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star, published by Hodder & Stoughton, is out now in hardbook, priced £14.99.