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The Last Taxi Ride (Ranjit Singh #2)

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3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  400 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
New York City taxi driver Ranjit Singh, hero of A.X. Ahmad’s heralded debut The Caretaker, has 10 days to prove his innocence...

Bollywood film icon Shabana Shah has been murdered, her body found in the apartment where Ranjit ate dinner mere hours before. Ranjit’s fingerprints are all over the murder weapon, a statue of the elephant god Ganesh used to grotesquely smash the
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Hardcover, 361 pages
Published June 24th 2014 by Minotaur Books
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Cheryl
May 21, 2014 Cheryl rated it really liked it
I love discovering new authors. Take for example A.X. Ahmed. This is a new to me author. The author has such a good storytelling talent. The characters just came alive for me in this book. Ranjit is a multilayered character. Plus, he was so personable that I was drawn to him. He was just a regular guy trying to do good.

Ok, so I thought I had the whole mystery solved but I was only partially wrong. The story moved along at a good pace as there was so much going on. Well not so much that you lost
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Larraine
Aug 03, 2014 Larraine rated it really liked it
This is the second in what looks to be a promising series about a Sikh taxi driver. He is a former Indian army officer who got caught up in a scandal. (The author included some elemnts from the previous book so the reader wouldn't be lost.) He and his wife and daughter lived in Massachusetts. He became involved with a senator and had an affair with the senator's wife who died in his arms. Now he's in NYC trying to make a fresh start. One day he picks up an interesting fare: the now faded Bollywo ...more
Sangeeta
Jul 05, 2014 Sangeeta rated it it was amazing
I read The Caretaker last year, and eagerly awaited The Last Taxi Ride. I think Taxi is even better than The Caretaker - Ranjit, our valiant hero, is now in NYC working as a taxi driver, when he gets sucked into a murder mystery. The thriller elements here are great- I really had no idea how the story would end until it did, and that's always a good sign. What is so good about the book, though, is the rich worlds that Ahmad represents - Little Guyana, Jackson Heights, taxi driver cafes, the trad ...more
Purti
Dec 02, 2014 Purti rated it liked it
This was a pretty good "who done it" read that kept me intrigued and wanting to finish it to find out what happened. I was able to figure out murderer and what happened, which is why I didn't rate it higher. I wouldn't say this is an intellectual read or anything that opened your eyes to a new culture, which I think the author could have done with the diverse backgrounds of the characters. All in all a good beach read for the summer.
Angie Kim
Jul 07, 2014 Angie Kim rated it it was amazing
I read the first of the trilogy last summer, and the Last Taxi Ride is even better than the 1st (The Caretaker). Just as with the first novel, the author has done a masterful job of taking us inside two distinct & fascinating settings: NYC (specifically, the world of immigrant taxi drivers) and Bollywood. I found the protagonist here, Ranjit, to be so sympathetic and likeable--far from perfect, but with a core of decency and courage that drew me in. I won't spoil what happens, but suffice it ...more
Monica
Apr 15, 2015 Monica rated it it was ok
It was okay. Not wonderful, not complex, not gripping. I like the way Ahmad moves his stories back and forth between Asia and the US. I like his scene setting - in this case, the Indian and Pakistani scenes in New York, the taxi and limo drivers, the clubs, the hair businesses, the intersection of the movie industry and the mob.

I find the character of Singh likable but a bit flat and his love life has been doomed from the start in both books. And the whole business with the twin sisters might as
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Farzana
Aug 24, 2015 Farzana rated it really liked it
A.X. Ahmad’s second novel of his Ranjit Singh trilogy is even better than the first. Ranjit Singh is a Sikh immigrant and in this second novel he has left Martha’s Vineyard for the streets of New York City. In this novel Ranjit has gone from caretaker to cab driver who crosses paths with a famous Bollywood actress, Shabana Shah, as a passenger in Ranjit’s cab. Ranjit is drawn to Shabana and her quiet sadness, but soon after meeting her, Shabana is murdered and Ranjit is a suspect. What follows i ...more
Helen
Jun 19, 2015 Helen rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Adults
Recommended to Helen by: No-one.
This was an extremely entertaining, well-written and easily-read murder mystery, which is possible to read in a day or two (a page-turner). It's set in NYC, so it's nice to read new/interesting/surprising descriptions of familiar stretches of road such as the Van Wyk, or the view from the Queensboro Bridge, and also every scene or neighborhood described clicks in "view" - at least for me it did since I've lived in NY all my life.

What is the world of the Indian and Pakistani cabbies like? This g
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Bonnie Brody
Sep 25, 2014 Bonnie Brody rated it really liked it
A. X. Ahmed has done it again with this follow-up to his debut novel, The Caretaker. In this thrilling mystery, Ranjit Singh is back, living in New York City and working as a cab driver. He is waiting for his thirteen year-old daughter, Shanti, to arrive from India and possibly spend a year living with him. Though cab driving was supposed to be temporary, there appears to be nothing better on the horizon. He works a second job at night for a sleazy businessman named Jay Patel who imports hair th ...more
Dale
Sep 09, 2015 Dale rated it it was amazing
In this second Ranjit Singh novel, the author once more expertly shows us a world that exists parallel to ours, yet is hidden. This is not a paranormal experience, just the norm when separate societies and classes exist side-by-side.
Our protagonist is a man with a troubled past, now struggling as a taxi driver in New York. He has a host of problems, which get worse when he gets tangled in a web of violence and money. He tries to navigate his way through a dangerous net of gangsters, movie stars
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Monica Bhide
Jul 02, 2014 Monica Bhide rated it it was amazing
SUch a terrific and fast moving read! Ahmad has created a wonderful hero! I was cheering him on throughout the book. A page turner! Loved it!
Garryvivianne
Jun 23, 2015 Garryvivianne rated it really liked it
Ranjit Singh, a New York City taxi cab driver has been accused of the murder of a well known Bollywood actress. He had been seen on camera entering the apartment building where he went to return a dress that she had left in his cab. There he sees an old friend, the doorman, who actually takes him into the apartment of the actress. The doorman, supposedly has an "in" with Shabana the actress. So Ranjit's fingerprints are all over the scene, and the doorman is missing. Ranjit has ten days to prove ...more
Joanne Kelleher
Jan 18, 2016 Joanne Kelleher rated it liked it
This would be more like 3.5 and I could be on the low side because it's not my genre. I must have skimmed over the description of the book because I didn't realize it was a murder mystery. When the murder happened early on, I thought about abandoning the book but I am glad I stuck with it. One thing I really liked is that it takes place where I grew up, Richmond Hill, Queens, which is now Little Guyana, as it describes in the book. I also liked the main character, Ranjit, a cabbie with some bagg ...more
MaryJo
Oct 05, 2015 MaryJo rated it really liked it
I don't read many mysteries, so I am a bit out of my element here. I got the recommendation for this from Washington DC Indian friends who never steer me wrong, and from a COMO readers group, so I put it on my list. This week I decided it was a good moment for it. I am likely to read a mystery that situates the mystery in some community that is interesting to me, so this New York Taxi driver who is an migrant from India fits my mystery reading MO. I don't want to give away the plot, but I did lo ...more
Karen
Dec 16, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This is the second book in the Ranjit Singh series. It is 2 years later and Ranjit is driving a cab in New York City and waiting for hai daughter to come from India. Through a series of coincidences he meets Shabana, a former Bollywood star and Mohan, an old friend from military college. When Shabana's sister is found dead in her apart,went with her head bashed in, Ranjit is accused of murder. To get himself out of this, he needs to find Mohan and learn the truth. I figured out what was happenin ...more
Ellen
Nov 23, 2014 Ellen rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed Mr. Ahmad's first book, The Caretaker, so much that I immediately purchased the sequel, The Last Taxi Ride. This crime fiction novel introduced me to the worlds of taxi-driving, international hair sales, and Bollywood. Mr. Ahmad's language is eloquent, almost poetic--which I found intriguing in view of the sometimes-graphic scenes in the novel. The protagonist is an appealing, fascinating character. The pacing is wonderful--an ever-increasing racheting up of suspense to a page-turning ...more
V.S. Kemanis
Oct 26, 2014 V.S. Kemanis rated it really liked it
The Last Taxi Ride grabbed me from the first page to the last. The likable protagonist, Ranjit is a believable, everyday kind of guy, who finds himself in the thick of it and uses his wits to solve the case and get himself out of trouble. His background in the military serves him well in situations calling for brawn over brain. This is the first mystery novel I've read involving Indian and Pakistani characters, and I appreciated learning something of the culture along the way. Ranjit's network a ...more
Brigham
Mar 21, 2016 Brigham rated it really liked it
This installment was much better than *The Caretaker*, which I enjoyed but thought had serious problems. TLTR once again has flawed characters, but the story makes more sense and involves less sitting around. As I mentioned, these characters have flaws, and they're written in such a way that I wasn't quite sure whether the author himself knew about the flaws. However, I think there were enough clues that he did. Ahmad has a talent for telling his readers about his characters' traits using subtle ...more
Marianne Morris
Feb 27, 2016 Marianne Morris rated it it was amazing
This is the second in a relatively new mystery series about an Indian American cab driver, former soldier, and I loved it. The main character is compelling, the action is non-stop, and the mystery kept me guessing. Apparently it will ultimately be a trilogy. Can't wait for the next one. Someone in Hollywood should snap up the rights - I want to see Ranjit Singh as a thinking man's action hero on the big screen.
Katharine
Aug 12, 2015 Katharine rated it really liked it
This was a very exciting book, with an edge of your seat plot, new worlds to explore (Pakistani cab drivers, the world of hair imports, Indian Guyanese immigrants, etc. etc.), and nice shades of grey characters. While set in New York, most of the action takes place in the immigrant community and thus provides a fresh view of the city. The plot is better than average, and not I want to read his first book. Recommended!
Chris
Aug 04, 2014 Chris rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Ranjit Singh should stay away from women. They end up dead and causing him lots of grief. In this book, the second in the series, he is driving a cab in NYC and has the good fortune to meet a Bollywood star and an old friend from his days in the Indian Army. The bonhomie of that reunion is quickly obliterated with the death of the Bollywood star and he's the principal suspect in her murder. And his friend is on the run. We have a good pace in this mystery and then it bogs down a little in the mi ...more
Lemar
Mar 08, 2016 Lemar rated it really liked it
A.X. Ahmad brings the perspective of a Sikh cabbie in New York to this page turner. His pacing was excellent and the characters were believable. Non Indian characters were relegated to an extremely minor role, to the detriment of the book. Ahmad stands above many writers in the genre with passages like this one describing the main character after saving a kid stuck in a tree,

"With the boy safe, Ranjit pauses for a second, tingling from the adrenaline of the climb. The park is spread out below h
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Reshma
Jul 27, 2015 Reshma rated it really liked it
This book is so fun. It's mystery fiction, but A.X. Ahmad throws in so much complexity through the main character of cab driver Ranjit Singh that it veers literary as well. I don't know much about New York city so learning about it through the tired eyes of an immigrant taxi driver was an interesting perspective. The book explores the Indian immigrant underworld of New York City as well as uplifting the stories of the Guyanese immigrant community as well. Fascinating and well written.
Vontel
Aug 20, 2014 Vontel rated it liked it
I skipped around this book quite a bit and then to the end. May have been worth reading the whole story through, although it didn't fully engage me up to the point I started skipping, at the time I was reading it. Notes at the end indicate that a number of the scenarios are based on true national/international scenarios and situations.
Katherine
Aug 24, 2015 Katherine rated it really liked it
Liked this mystery featuring a Sikh taxi driver in New York City. Ranjit is accused of being an accessory to the murder of a Bollywood film star. He has ten days to prove his innocence and find out what really happened. I will definitely go back to read the first in the series, The Caretaker.
kp
Jul 24, 2015 kp rated it liked it
Another episode in the life and misadventures of Ranjit Singh. Noir inspired, political, and evocative of place (the first novel was set in Boston and Martha's Vineyard in winter, this in New York in high summer). Ahmad writes a solid thriller and has a clear, clean style, as a creative writing teacher should!
Helaine
Jul 31, 2014 Helaine rated it liked it
This was probably more like a 3 1/2. I was not as captivated by this book as I was The Caretaker. In The Caretaker, the flashback story was as engrossing as the main story and made the book difficult to put down. In this book, the flashback story is not as compelling and the use of that device in a second book seems like over-use. I look forward to #3, but hope that that device does not appear in the future book.
Jen
Sep 07, 2014 Jen rated it liked it
This was a 3.5 book rating. I was intrigued and it kept my attention and I thought it was interesting until the end. It was a little confusing with some of the characters (the bad guys I didn't quite follow) and the f word was so frequent I couldn't quite believe it.
Jane H
Aug 26, 2015 Jane H rated it really liked it
Absolutely gripping. I loved that there were only a few characters, and we were really along on their journeys. Getting to understand their motivations, their fear, their reality. In the end, I was surprised. What more can I ask for in a murder mystery?
Raj Chakraberti
Feb 02, 2015 Raj Chakraberti rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Very entertaining page-turner. First time I've read a book with a Sikh as the lead character. Bonus points for being from the perspective of a taxi driver in NYC. I appreciated all the references to Little Guyana, Jackson Heights and parts of Manhattan.
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A.X. Ahmad is the author of the Ranjit Singh trilogy. The first book, THE CARETAKER, was published in May 2013. The second book in the series, LAST TAXI RIDE, will be published in June 2014.

A.X. Ahmad grew up in India, was educated at Vassar College and MIT, and worked for many years as an international architect before taking up writing full time.

As Amin Ahmad, his short stories and essays on i
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More about A.X. Ahmad...

Other Books in the Series

Ranjit Singh (2 books)
  • The Caretaker (Ranjit Singh, #1)

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