Vikram Chandra’s novel draws the reader deep into the life of Inspector Sartaj Singh—and into the criminal underworld of Ganesh Gaitonde, the most wanted gangster in India. It is is a story of friendship and betrayal, of terrible violence, of an astonishing modern city and its dark side.
Seven years in the making, Sacred Games is an epic of exceptional richness and power. Vikram Chandra’s novel draws the reader deep into the life of Inspector Sartaj Singh—and into the criminal underworld of Ganesh Gaitonde, the most wanted gangster in India.
Sartaj, one of the very few Sikhs on the Mumbai police force, is used to being identified by his turban, beard and the sharp cut of his trousers. But “the silky Sikh” is now past forty, his marriage is over and his career prospects are on the slide. When Sartaj gets an anonymous tip-off as to the secret hide-out of the legendary boss of G-Company, he’s determined that he’ll be the one to collect the prize.
Vikram Chandra’s keenly anticipated new novel is a magnificent story of friendship and betrayal, of terrible violence, of an astonishing modern city and its dark side. Drawing inspiration from the classics of nineteenth-century fiction, mystery novels, Bollywood movies, and Chandra’s own life and research on the streets of Mumbai, Sacred Games evokes with devastating realism the way we live now but resonates with the intelligence and emotional depth of the best of literature.
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Plot summary of Sacred Games
Sacred Games runs mostly on two parallel tracks, one winding through the criminal underground of Mumbai (then Bombay) in the 80s and 90s and the other through a tense modern-day hunt for the explanation behind a notorious dead gangster’s bizarre final words. The only Sikh police inspector in the city is seemingly invited to pursue Mumbai’s most legendary crime lord, Ganesh Gaitonde. Gaitonde reveals a harrowing timeline and a few hints of the identity of his collaborators before taking his own life. From there, we explore the forces that shaped Gaitonde into the dark figure he became and follow the police inspector as he tries to put his own life in order, solve a crime, and possibly save his city. Through interweaving narratives and voices, Sacred Games takes on even larger themes, from the wrenching violence of the 1947 partition of India to the specter of nuclear terrorism.
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