April‐June 2010 JOURNAL OF EURASIAN STUDIES Volume II., Issue 2.
THRILLER FOR ERUDITE ENTERTAINMENT
In most cases the second book of a bestseller’s writer is a litmus test; it is a visible sign of the author’s
talents and potential. It is clear evidence to the public that the author in question possesses more talent
and imagination than what is required for a one time hit.
Vikas Swarup, author of the bestseller novel Q&A upon which the blockbuster Slumdog Millionaire
movie was based, passed this test brilliantly. His second novel entitled Six Suspects even surpasses the
first one in certain aspects. On the surface is a nail biting detective story, focused on a high profile murder
case: the murder of the son of a high‐profile minister of an Indian state, who has been shot dead by one of
the guests at his own party. Six guests are found with a gun at the party and consequently they are
arrested as suspects. The lives and backgrounds of the six suspects: a bureaucrat, an actress, a tribal, a
thief, a politician, and an American constitute the core of this thriller. Through the intricately woven web
of stories the author provides us with a view on the different segments of the current Indian society, with
linkages to both the Third World, and to the West. It is a microcosm that reflects the macrocosm of the
Six Suspects is a highly rewarding book, since it can be read in multiple ways: as a detective story, as a
socio‐political commentary, as a foreign‐affairs thriller, or as a treasure house of great sayings. Or all these
together. For many years I always underline as I read, just as a character in Orhan Pamuk´s The New Life
suggests to the protagonist. I have had the great pleasure of reading Six Suspects underlining heavily.
It is quite amazing to see the versatility of some of the senior members of the Indian Foreign Service.
Just to name another example next to Vikas Swarup: L.N. Rangarajan, who was India’s Ambassador to
Greece, Sudan, Tunisia, Norway and Iceland, has also made a significant contribution to the world of
letters besides to his day‐to‐day diplomatic activities by translating to English Kautilya´s Arthashastra. In
fact this type of work is also diplomacy.
The Hague, June 15, 2010
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