Newly appointed as Glasgow’s first Asian DI, Alok Patel’s first assignment is the investigation of the brutal murder of Nadia, an Asian woman. Her body was discovered in the aftermath of the Mela festival in Kelvingrove Park. During the Mela, a small fight erupted between a BNP group and an Asian gang, but was quickly quelled by police.
When Nadia is accused of having an affair with a local man, even more questions about her death arise. Was her murder a crime of passion, or was it racially motivated? Could it be an honour killing? The deep-rooted tensions within Glasgow’s Asian communities bubble to the surface as DI Patel struggles with his parents, who disapprove of his relationship with his Muslim partner, Usma.
As DI Patel struggles to gain any help from the Asian community, another body is discovered in the West End- the body of a white man. Is this new murder fuelled by revenge? Killed by an Asian gang? As the list of murder suspects grows, DI Patel finds himself grappling with the pressures of his new rank, including the racism of at least one fellow officer.
This novel peels away the layers of Glasgow’s Asian communities, while exploring the complicated relationships between Asian people and the city.
About Leela Soma:
Leela Soma was born in Madras, India and now lives in Glasgow, Scotland. She was a Principal Teacher of Modern Studies before deciding to write full time. Her poetry and short stories have been published in a number of anthologies and publications most recently, Issue 5 of Gutter magazine. She won the Margaret Thomson Davis Trophy for Best New Writer 2007 for her then unpublished novel Twice Born which was later published on YouWriteOn. She is on the Committee of the Milngavie Book & Art Festival and the Scottish Writer’s Centre. Her writings reflect her experiences as a first generation Indo-Scot.
Ringwood Publishing: https://bit.ly/2ZAdb00
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Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2ZBMtnI
Published in paperback and digital formats by Ringwood Publishing on 3rd November 2020
Murder at the Mela is a well written murder mystery set in Glasgow. It follows the journey of newly appointed DI Patel as he works to uncover the truth behind the murder of a young woman after the night of the Mela. The story is well-written and flows very well. I enjoyed the way the author has explained the investigative process and it definitely shows that quite a bit of research has gone into the writing.
The characters are an interesting mix of people with different racial and ethnic backgrounds as well as religious beliefs. The author delicately handles the different religious beliefs and brings out the way each person handles it. I thoroughly enjoyed the various interactions and reactions among the characters. At some points, it felt as though the story is needlessly dragging and some changes in scenes happened abruptly with no warning. At one point we read about one character and in the next sentence the reader is taken to a different location and shown different people. This was a little confusing. However, this did not take away from the entire story and thus it was a pleasant read.
Overall, this murder mystery is worth following and DI Patel’s capabilities as a police investigator are spot on! This is definitely worth the read and I highly recommend it!