On The Trail of Thugs and Thieves — True Accounts of Crime from the Hindi Heartland by Aloke Lal and Maanas Lal
My take on the book:
On the Trail of Thugs and Thieves is a collection of eight real life stories of incidents of dacoity and about the lives of thieves — as mentioned by the authors in the introduction, crimes that are not discussed much, unlike murders. When I picked this book I expected some serious and complex crimes. However, the USP of these stories is how these crimes are executed, the socio-political reasons and how the police teams have cracked them, instead of sensationalism.
Reading true crime can get boring if the narration gets too serious, however the authors succeed in making the book interesting by adding their personal stories. The first story even features the author’s new bride accompanying him while he proceeded on a dacoity investigation, crossing rivers and travelling to the most remote corners.
I read the earlier book of the authors and was very impressed by their style of narrating true crime stories and this book reiterates their command over this genre. The stories will hold the readers attention from the beginning till end and all eight stories are unique in their own way.
Most of the places that the authors transport through these stories are new to me and it was interesting to learn about how life was, especially in the past, when these stories happened. If you also love reading true crime stories, then this book is a must read.