Chain of Custody – Anita Nair
Literature holds a mirror to society, and so does Anita’s Chain of Custody. But the reflections you see are definitely not pretty, they are scary, repulsive, horrifying pictures of human greed, poverty and degradation.The reflections in this fiction that mirrors the evils of trafficking in Bengaluru are so stark that it seems at first unbelievable. Which is why I searched the internet after the first few pages of the novel. I was shocked to find Karnataka has the third highest number of cases in the country with over 1000 human trafficking incidents reported over four years ! And we though the city was safer than most.
One can easily find out that Anita has done a load of research on the subject of child trafficking, its causes, events and results.The plot itself is researched and portrays this evil in all its glory, connections, methods and some explicit scenes though disturbing are honest portrayals. Even the spaces and scenes Anita describes are so real that one is sure she has spoken to a lot of people and some victims perhaps before she wrote this. this.In today’s world of quick fix writing this is a rarity, which is what makes you respect her more.
While the stark reality unfolds Anita holds your attention and gives you a thrilling ride on our beloved Inspector Gowda’s bullet. What starts as a request by Shanthi, Gowda’s maid to find her missing daughter Nanditha, takes twists and turns into the sick and seamy side of child trafficking and murder. The players, their past, their poverty, struggle for existence, little girls and boys whose dreams have been snatched away by an unseen hand for nothing but sheer greed. The chain of Custody of the trafficked, moves from the initial contact to the handler, custodian, client who are all managed by a mastermind.Yet amidst the pain and torture there are glimpses of pure love and a tinge of heroism and some good Samaritans.
All of this is wrapped in suspense, which keeps you turning the pages till you complete reading it.
Characters of Santosh and Ratna are so realistic they can be your friendly neighborhood cops. The victims seem so real, you want to reach out and console them, run out and warn them that something bad is about to happen! Inspector Gowda caught between his clandestine affair and his duty to his wife and son Roshan just seems more endearing! Like the previous novel his skills are sharp and sense of duty clear and incorruptible either by fame or by greed. You just love him more after Chain of Custody. Hes addictive. Anita will have to write the new Inspector Gowda series soon- I cant wait!