A tense and gripping thriller with an unforgettable detective at its heart, More Bodies Will Fall by Ankush Saikia is a Arjun Arora mystery that follows the murder of a girl from the Northeast in her home in Delhi. The search for answers brings the detective face-to-face with an old enemy, and embroils him in new dangers.
What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to write a book featuring my detective Arjun Arora that was set in Northeast India right from the start of this series... it just took me some time to go and do my research in Nagaland and Manipur. I made a couple of trips to both states, and also to the Indo-Myanmar border in Mizoram.
In the book, a girl from Northeast India is murdered in Delhi. The prime suspect is her boyfriend from Delhi, but there isn’t enough evidence to convict him. The girl’s father approaches detective Arjun Arora to take on the case, and Arora’s investigation leads him to things the police have overlooked and takes him all the way to Nagaland and Manipur and even Bangkok.
When and how did the idea of this book germinate?
I had gone to Mizoram in 2015 to do a story, and it was while I was on the Mizoram-Myanmar border looking into the meth and heroin drug trade there that a plot suggested itself to me. Also, I spent more than a decade in Delhi, and I wanted to write something that captured the complex reality of people from the Northeast working in Delhi, something which went beyond the easy characterisations.
Next book you’re working on?
I am presently working on a book set in the north bank region of Assam (that’s the area above the Brahmaputra river) and Arunachal Pradesh, something which combines a lot of aspects of life and historical topics — local politics, insurgency, politics of deforestation, plight of wildlife. It’s my most ambitious project till date and has involved years of research and several attempts at writing it before I found the right tone and right story.