Mumbai Confidential follows Arjun Kadam, an Indian police officer battling criminal masterminds, police corruption, and personal demons. It’s a fictionalized account of the all-too-real Encounter Cops of Mumbai, essentially a government-sanctioned hit squad of police officers that targeted players in a swelling criminal underground in the 1980s and '90s. The rumors are that the Encounter Cops eventually began taking bribes and even executing hits as the line between police officer and perpetrator became blurred. Set during this time of ethical ambiguity, Mumbai Confidential follows Kadam, a former cop, who finds himself drawn back into the game as he attempts to track down the driver in a tragic hit-and-run accident. As Kadam digs deeper, however, he discovers that this is merely one thread in a vast criminal fabric that is rapidly and dangerously becoming unraveled.
Mohapatra and Shinde have woven a story that is violent and dark, and as thrilling as any of your favorite noir tales. I’m a particularly gullible reader; you don’t have to work too hard to surprise me, but, even so, I found these twists and turns particularly affecting. The art is moody and full of shadows, creating a tone that is pitch perfect for the story. If you’re a noir fan, you must check out this beautiful, new hardcover from Archaia, available here.
I give it a glowing 5 Femme Fatales out of 5.