Dominic ‘Biscuit’ McLeod is an expert in making the best out of a bad situation. As a visa fraud investigator at the Australian High Commission, New Delhi, Biscuit is legendary for his prowess in drinking beer, playing cricket, and swearing like a Dilliwallah, until the tragic death of a junior colleague forces him to become something else – a conspiracy theorist who can’t let go. Armed with only a hangover, a loathing for authority, and an inability to believe the lies that he is being told, Biscuit stumbles from crisis to catastrophe in a shambolic search for the truth. From the villages of Punjab to the cricket fields of Delhi, and the walled compounds of Gurgaon and Chanakyapuri, with dodgy visa agents, crooked cops, Aussies journalists, Afghani pimps and American spies for company, Biscuit never looks like solving the case, or leaving the party early. A bold comic debut, The Sad Demise of Manpreet Singh is a novel about the things people will do to leave the places they don’t want to be, and the lengths others will go to try and stop them.
Patrick Bryson is a writer, runner, musician and cricket tragic who lives and works in New Delhi. His short stories and essays have appeared in Southerly, Tehelka, The Lifted Brow, The Times Of India, Motherland, Out of Print, The Shillong Times and Mascara Literary Review. He was awarded his PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Newcastle, Australia in 2009. His first novel, published in 2014, is The Sad Demise Of Manpreet Singh.
This book is not your conventional book which can be slotted into a regular genre nor is the protagonist Dominic 'Biscuit' McLeod (Dom) your conventional hero.
The narrative takes us readers through Dom's investigation into the death of one of his colleagues and he happens to stumble upon a large scale visa fraud and human trafficking scandal involving more than quite a few of his colleagues and friends from the diplomatic community of various embassies and commissions in New Delhi.
Whether his efforts to bring the scandal to light and the deliver justice to the culprits forms the crux of the book. However, what is more interesting is the journey that Dom takes and Dom's personality by itself which to me was the real highlight of the book.
Read this if you are looking for a deceptively interesting yet unconventional book.