27 July, 2021

Hounds, When Their Blood’s Up

Spanning 73 years, a survey of 12 murders splits open the depraved criminal mind. They show, too, the police’s skill in proving the crimes beyond doubt.

The Calcutta Police HQ at Lalbazar
Hounds, When Their Blood’s Up

In the late afternoon of November 26, 1933, a man muffled in a dirty shawl brushed past the younger scion of the Pakur zam­indari (now in Jharkhand) on a crowded platform of Howrah Station in Calcutta, injecting him with some colourless liquid. Brought back to the city after he fell vio­lently ill a few days later, Amarendra sank into a coma and died, astounding top doctors. It was the mid-point in a mystery that featured a well-loved youth, a morbidly jealous, dissolute step-brother, enormous property and a murder most ingeniously foul.

The case, “one of the first instances of individual bio-terrorism in mod­­­ern world history”, leads a description of 12 landmark hom­icides handled by the Calcutta Police’s detective dep­ar­t­ment, which has claimed, for over a century, to house India’s best police detectives. The retellings, evenly-­paced and with dramatic detail, are by Supr­atim Sarkar, an additional com­­­missioner of Cal­cutta Pol­ice. Murder In The City is more than...

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