A Disappearance in Fiji

Nilima Rao

ISBN: 9781641294294

Published: June 2023

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Hardcover $25.95

eBook $14.99

Nilima Rao

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Description

A charming and atmospheric debut mystery featuring a young Indian police sergeant investigating a missing persons case in colonial Fiji

1914, Fiji: 25-year-old Akal Singh would rather be anywhere but this tropical paradise—or, as he calls it, “this godforsaken island.” After a promising start to his police career in his na...

A charming and atmospheric debut mystery featuring a young Indian police sergeant investigating a missing persons case in colonial Fiji

1914, Fiji: 25-year-old Akal Singh would rather be anywhere but this tropical paradise—or, as he calls it, “this godforsaken island.” After a promising start to his police career in his native India and Hong Kong, Akal has been sent to Fiji as punishment for a humiliating professional mistake. Lonely and grumpy, Akal plods through his work and dreams of getting back to Hong Kong.

When an indentured Indian woman goes missing from a sugarcane plantation and Fiji’s newspapers scream “kidnapping,” the inspector-general reluctantly assigns Akal the case, giving him strict instructions to view this investigation as nothing more than cursory. Akal, eager to achieve redemption, agrees—but soon finds himself far more invested than he ever expected.

Now not only is he investigating a disappearance, but also confronting the brutal realities of the indentured workers’ existence and the racism of the British colonizers in Fiji—along with his own thorny notions of personhood and caste. And early interrogations of the white plantation owners, Indian indentured laborers, and native Fijians yield only one conclusion: there is far more to this case than meets the eye.

Nilima Rao’s debut is full of sparkling wit, vibrant characters, intriguing mystery-solving, and fascinating historical detail, both unflinching in its treatment of the atrocities of colonialism and hopeful for a better future.

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“A poignant and entertaining read . . . Sergeant Akal Singh is a charmingly imperfect and captivating protagonist. I love Akal and hope we’ll be seeing a lot more of him!”
–Ovidia Yu, author of the Aunty Lee Singaporean Mysteries
“A gripping, authentic and brilliantly told mystery story that brings to life colonial era Fiji with a wealth of intriguing characters and underlying tensions. I have found a new favorite mystery series!”
–A.M. Stuart, author of the Harriet Gordon Mysteries