Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fictional Detectives of the 21st Century

When we think 'fictional detectives', we usually have legends like Sherlock Holmes or Byomkesh Bakshi in mind. Needless to say, we will continue to revere them for centuries to come. 

However, in this digital age, is there a new fictional detective who makes your crime-thriller unputdownable? 
Quite a few names have been gaining popularity in the world of crime fiction since the late 20th century.  

1. Cormoran Strike: Private detective Strike made his debut in Robert Galbraith aka J.K Rowling's ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ in 2013 and soon became a popular name among mystery lovers across the world. 'The Silkworm’, where Strike was called upon to investigate the mysterious murder of a novelist was a runaway hit too. His third case - 'A Career of Evil' is slated for an October 2015 release.

2. Galileo:  A Physics Professor with an uncanny ability to crack impossible cases, Detective Galileo was introduced in the brilliant suspense thriller – ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’ (English version published in 2011). Brainchild of the Japanese author Keigo Higashino, the Galileo novels are racy, gripping, and unputdownable.

3.   Kay Scarpetta: The keenly observant Scarpetta debuted with Patricia Cornwell’s ‘Postmortem’ in 1990. This Italian sleuth started her career as a chief medical examiner and later became a private forensic consultant. 
‘The Depraved Heart’ (2015) is the latest Scarpetta novel with cutting-edge forensic investigations.

4. Alex Cross – Like Scarpetta, psychologist and Police Detective, Afro-American Alex Cross is also not a new name in the detective world. Introduced in James Patterson’s ‘Along Came a Spider’ in 1993, Cross is highly intelligent, compassionate, and known for his ill luck with women. Watch out for his latest book ‘Hope to Die’ (2015)

5. John Rebus: Detective Inspector John Rebus is Ian Ranklin’s creation, first seen in ‘Knots and Crosses’ (1987). The unconventional lifestyle and pessimistic attitude added to Rebus’ charm. 
Though Ranklin announced Rebus’ retirement in ‘Saints of the Shadow Bible’ (2013), the Scottish Inspector continues to be hugely popular.

6. Thomas Lynley: Created by the American author Elizabeth George, British detective Inspector Lynley first appeared in 1988 in a novel titled ‘A Great Deliverance’. Several of Lynley’s mysteries were adapted into a TV series. 
‘A Banquet of Consequences’ (2015) is the latest addition to the Lynley mystery series.

7. Mitin Mashi: Created by the versatile Suchitra Bhattacharya, Indian detective Pragya Paromita, better known as Mitin Mashi made her debut in the Bengali novel ‘Palabar Path Nei’. Mitin is a 21st century young, inquisitive detective, who solves complex mysteries along with Tupur, her niece. Some of her super-hit stories like ‘Arakiel Diamond’ have been translated into English. With Bhattacharya’s untimely demise, it is unfortunate that we won’t get to read any new books on Mitin Mashi.

8. Vish Puri: In 2009, English writer Tarquin Hall created Vish Puri, the most private investigator in India. Set in India, ‘The Case of the Missing Servant’ is the first book in the Vish Puri series and establishes our protagonist as an old-fashioned, methodical, and quick-witted Punjabi detective. The other books in the Vish Puri series are equally engaging and have earned critical acclaim.

9. Avraham: Crime writer Dror. A Mishani's ‘The Missing File’ (first published in Hebrew in 2011) introduced Israeli Police Inspector Avraham to readers. Exceptional attention to detail and compelling characterization resulted in the growing popularity of the Avraham crime series. ‘The Man Who Wanted to Know’ is Mishani's latest Avraham novel. (The English version will only be available in 2016).

10. Niki Marwah: Indian author Swati Kaushal created the character of Niki Marwah in her crime thriller titled ‘Drop Dead’ (2012). 
Police Detective Marwah is daring, rebellious, and has featured in two fast-paced murder mysteries until now.