Author Anita Nair is out with her 15th book, a noir crime novel on the grimy underbelly of Bengaluru. The book, Chain of Custody, takes a cold, hard look at child trafficking, a crime that is rampant in urban India, but seldom discussed openly.
“It was the lack of answers on child trafficking that made me want to write Chain of Custody, because it is time we talked about this,” Nair tells Firstpost.
Nair says she decided to base her second crime novel on missing, lost and trafficked children because the urban middle class has for far too long ignored the problem.
“We as a middle class tend to be in denial about everything as long as it doesn’t affect us. Child trafficking is such a hugely organised ring, and it exists everywhere around us, yet we tend to shut our eyes to it. There is a sense of insularity among the Indian middle class. Perhaps the only way to crack their insularity to rub their faces in it,” says the author.
Chain of Custody is a sequel to Nair’s previous crime novel Cut Like Wound. She has retained the character of Inspector Gowda, who Nair says will appear in several similar stories.
Nair says she researched on child trafficking for four months before she began writing the novel. “I didn’t have to exaggerate a single detail because the extent of depravity is so horrendous,” Nair adds.
Nair chose Bengaluru as a setting for her crime novel because of the dramatic and rapid change the city has undergone and the issue that have cropped up with it. “There is such a dramatic change in the city that it was and the city it is now and the huge disparity that exists today. As a writer that is exciting for me”.