Book Review: Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara

We are just specks of dust in this world, glimmering for a moment in the sunlight, and then disappearing into nothing. You have to learn to make your peace with that.

Deepa Anappara

I really loved Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line. It is in equal parts humorous, thought-provoking and heartbreaking. In India where agonising poverty and beguiling richness thrive side by side, Deepa Anappara excellently conveys this terrible truth from a child’s perspective.

The story limelights the kidnappings of children from marginalised families in the country. Through the main character, Jai, who is from an impoverished background, we get a glimpse into the unforgiving world of homeless people. A world where each day comes with new uncertainty feeding on their fears.

The plot revolves around Jai and his friends who begin untangling the mysterious abductions of kids in his locality. This mission initially starts as a distraction from school slowly goes on to take a darker and sinister turn. In the end, as I grasped the severity of this issue, I was left deeply frustrated and sickened.

The only issues I had were the constant repetition of a few ideas and, at times, Jai’s voice seemed way older for a child his age. With that being said, the plot remained strong until the end while tackling a sensitive topic like this.

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