I grew up on a steady diet of thrillers. Most of the books I started with, though, were all written by foreign writers like Jo Nesbo, Lee Child, Connelly, and John Grisham. Over the years, there have been a lot of thrillers set in India, featuring Indian characters that are as good as any international crime thriller. Here’s a list of seven such fast-paced thrillers set in India to get you reading.
Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor
Deepti Kapoor’s Age of Vice takes its readers on a wild ride from a small village in Uttar Pradesh to the life of the richie-rich in New Delhi. Through the life and fortune of Ajay, a servant of the affluent and awful Wadia family, we are taken on a journey of high-stakes adventure, life-and-death scenarios, friendships and romances that are sure to get your heart pumping.
Manjhi’s Mayhem by Tanuj Solanki
Longlisted for the JCB Prize, 2023, Manjhi’s Mayhem is the adrenaline fuelled novel featuring Sewaram Manjhi, who comes to Mumbai with fire in his heart. Working as a security guard, he meets Santosh, the quintessential damsel in distress. From that point, something unleashes inside him which wrecks mayhem on everyone and everything that dares to stand in his way. Reminiscent of the angry young man of the seventies, Manjhi’s Mayhem is a short but impactful read.
Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra
Before Netflix adapted into a series, Sacred Games had already captured the hearts of many readers. A fast-paced thriller, Sacred Games invites its readers into the world of two opposing forces – Sartaj Singh, the cop and Ganesh Gaitonde, the mafia boss. As Sartaj is hurled into a world of deceit and duplicity, he must make decisions that will decide the future of the city he calls home.
Patang by Bhaskar Chattopadhyay
When a crazed killer makes Mumbai in the monsoon his hunting ground, the police have no choice but to call Chandrakant Rathod, a man who’s never played by the book. Rathod manages to catch the killer, but when killings re-start after a hiatus of three months, Rathod needs to ace his game to catch whoever is behind these new murders. A fast-paced, breathless thriller Patang will leave you craving for more.
Cold Justice by Vish Dhamija
Set in the world of court and lawyers, Cold Justice takes us into the life of Akash Hingorani, a successful lawyer who gets a call for help from his ex-lover, judge Shilpa Singh who has been charged with murder. As Akash and his lawyer friends try to find out who might be trying to implicate Shilpa in a crime she says she didn’t commit, they find themselves outsmarted by the opposing lawyer, time and again. If they don’t do something soon, it might be too late to save Shilpa.
Tears of the Dragon by Ankush Saikia
Tears of the Dragon sees detective Arjun Arora take the case of a pharma company executive who was found dead in Kolkata. Initially, he is just trying to find answers for the family, but soon he realises that this was a well-planned murder whose roots lie in the man’s past. Traversing across India and China, Tears of the Dragon is a thriller that will keep you entertained throughout.
The Hunter of Lalbazar by Suhit Sen
The Hunter of Lalbazar is a police-procedural thriller set in Kolkata where a killer is preying upon women. Joint Commissioner of Police Tanya Samanta and her team is on the trail of the killer, but he manages to slip across the border. When the killings start afresh, Tanya makes a plan to nab him. But before she can, she must face the nexus of corruption, bribery, and politics that will think nothing of hindering her plans.
Pick up a thriller set in India from any Kunzum store or WhatsApp +91.8800200280 to order. Buy the book(s) and the coffee’s on us.
About the Author
Sneha Pathak has a PhD in English Literature and has taught at college and university level. She currently works as a freelance writer/translator. Her writings have appeared in various publications such as Muse India, Purple Pencil Project, The Wise Owl Magazine, The Curious Reader, Mystery and Suspense Magazine etc. She recently published her first book of translation, an anthology of stories translated from Hindi. Follow her here: Instagram