In the slums on the outskirts of a sprawling Delhi, nine-year-old Jai watches too many reality cop shows in the house he shares with his family. Jai dreams of a carefree life in the “hi-fi” district, the apartment blocks for the rich overlooking their slum, which stand in stark contrast to the impoverished but tight-knit community in which he lives. However, when their classmate from school goes missing, Jai seizes the chance for a bigger life and with Pari and Faiz forms “The Djinn Patrol”.

The three of them venture out wielding their detective skills, through the rattle-tattle energy and mouth-watering smells of the city, to the dangerous rubbish ground and as far as the railway station at the end of the Purple Line. But children continue to vanish, and the trio must confront terrified parents, an unsympathetic police force and soul-snatching djinns in order to uncover the truth. As the disappearances edge ever closer to home, the lives of Jai and his friends will be altered forever.

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line is a deeply touching, vibrant debut novel from author Deepa Anappara, inspired by her years of investigative real-life journalism. Read this article for more about Deepa.

Based on the novel by Deepa Anappara.