Bold, stylish and deceptively witty, this gripping new novel by Manu Joseph poses searching questions about political forces and religious division--with an ingenious twist. On the day that Hindu nationalists and their controversial leader have won a spectacular election victory, a large apartment building collapses in Mumbai. The rescue operation finds a single survivor trapped under a beam.The only person able to reach him is Akhila Iyer, a medical student who is also a notorious prankster. Crawling through the rubble to administer first aid, she finds him mumbling in delirium that a young Muslim couple are on their way to carry out a terror attack.Elsewhere, an intelligence agent, Mukundan, is assigned to shadow two terror suspects, one of whom is the teenager Laila, sweetheart of her street. Time is running out and the chase is on...Pervasive in its comic realism, wicked in its humour and broad-based in its canvas, Miss Laila, Armed and Dangerous is a fierce, profound and illuminating portrait of our age of globalisation and populist politics.
"On the same day that Hindu nationalist leader Damodarbhai who says outrageous things that fan hatred of Muslims wins election in India, an earthquake levels an old apartment building in Mumbai. One man is still alive in the rubble, and activist Akhila Iyer, who has had medical training, volunteers to tunnel through to the man to treat him. The survivor, who turns out to be an intelligence agent, starts mumbling about a man and a woman, suspected terrorists, setting out by car from Mumbai. The man is a married 35-year-old Hindi who became Muslim for his wife, and the woman is 19-year-old Laila Raza, a Muslim, the delight of her neighborhood and the prime mover of her fatherless family. The pair is pursued by violent state agents, who justify their actions in part by describing the gentle Laila as armed and dangerous. Contemporary India, with its caste system and pervasive sexism, is Joseph's target here, in a novel that is part thriller and part political satire. Another winner from the acclaimed Indian author.--Michele Leber Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.