I received a gifted copy of ‘Kolkata Noir’ by Tom Vater in return for my honest review. Before reading I was aware of Calcutta, but I didn’t know that the name had been changed to Kolkata. Since reading the book I have looked at a bit more information and at images, and it looks like a beautiful place.
The book is split into three novellas over three periods of time spanning 40 years. It follows the characters Becker, a British traveller/investigator and Madhurima, inspectoress of the Kolkata Police department.
💜 1999 – The city is still named Calcutta, and this novella follows the murder investigation of a highly regarded political figure.
💜 2019 – Twenty years later, the city is now called Kolkata. Becker returns to India as requested to bring back two British young men. This novella shows more of the gang side of Kolkata.
💜 2039 – Into the future the last novella goes, Kolkata is now under water and life in Kolkata is no where near what it used to be.
This story was interesting as I was unaware of any of Kolkata’s history and the link to Britain. I would have liked to see the story develop more between Becker and Madhurima but I suppose in these short novellas there wouldn’t have been a chance to show the sides of Kolkata which the author wanted to depict. I found the last novella scary and imaginative, scary because if this does happen it is going to be a terrifying world to live in.
Overall, an interesting, dark and in some ways chilling set of novellas based on Kolkata’s past, present and future.