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New York City taxi driver Ranjit Singh, hero of A.X. Ahmad’s heralded debut The Caretaker, has 10 days to prove his innocence... Bollywood film icon Shabana Shah has been murdered, her body found in the apartment where Ranjit ate dinner mere hours before. Ranjit’s fingerprints are all over the murder weapon, a statue of the elephant god Ganesh used to grotesquely smash the New York City taxi driver Ranjit Singh, hero of A.X. Ahmad’s heralded debut The Caretaker, has 10 days to prove his innocence... Bollywood film icon Shabana Shah has been murdered, her body found in the apartment where Ranjit ate dinner mere hours before. Ranjit’s fingerprints are all over the murder weapon, a statue of the elephant god Ganesh used to grotesquely smash the actress’ beautiful face. Caught on film leaving the apartment alone, Ranjit is accused by the NYPD as an accessory to murder. Ranjit’s only credible alibi is Shabana’s Indian doorman, but he has vanished. With a Grand Jury arraignment looming in 10 days, and Ranjit’s teenage daughter about to arrive from India, he must find the doorman. His search through the underbelly of New York leads to the world of high-end nightclub owners, back-alley Mumbai gangsters and to Jay Patel, a shady businessman who imports human hair. As his investigation for the true killer reveals layers of Shabana Shah’s hidden past, Ranjit does not know whom to trust. He can rely only on his army training, his taxi-driver knowledge of New York, and his cabbie friends. With time quickly running out, can Ranjit clear his name before his fare is up?


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New York City taxi driver Ranjit Singh, hero of A.X. Ahmad’s heralded debut The Caretaker, has 10 days to prove his innocence... Bollywood film icon Shabana Shah has been murdered, her body found in the apartment where Ranjit ate dinner mere hours before. Ranjit’s fingerprints are all over the murder weapon, a statue of the elephant god Ganesh used to grotesquely smash the New York City taxi driver Ranjit Singh, hero of A.X. Ahmad’s heralded debut The Caretaker, has 10 days to prove his innocence... Bollywood film icon Shabana Shah has been murdered, her body found in the apartment where Ranjit ate dinner mere hours before. Ranjit’s fingerprints are all over the murder weapon, a statue of the elephant god Ganesh used to grotesquely smash the actress’ beautiful face. Caught on film leaving the apartment alone, Ranjit is accused by the NYPD as an accessory to murder. Ranjit’s only credible alibi is Shabana’s Indian doorman, but he has vanished. With a Grand Jury arraignment looming in 10 days, and Ranjit’s teenage daughter about to arrive from India, he must find the doorman. His search through the underbelly of New York leads to the world of high-end nightclub owners, back-alley Mumbai gangsters and to Jay Patel, a shady businessman who imports human hair. As his investigation for the true killer reveals layers of Shabana Shah’s hidden past, Ranjit does not know whom to trust. He can rely only on his army training, his taxi-driver knowledge of New York, and his cabbie friends. With time quickly running out, can Ranjit clear his name before his fare is up?

30 review for The Last Taxi Ride

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I love discovering new authors. Take for example A.X. Ahmed. This is a new to me author. The author has such a good storytelling talent. The characters just came alive for me in this book. Ranjit is a multilayered character. Plus, he was so personable that I was drawn to him. He was just a regular guy trying to do good. Ok, so I thought I had the whole mystery solved but I was only partially wrong. The story moved along at a good pace as there was so much going on. Well not so much that you lost I love discovering new authors. Take for example A.X. Ahmed. This is a new to me author. The author has such a good storytelling talent. The characters just came alive for me in this book. Ranjit is a multilayered character. Plus, he was so personable that I was drawn to him. He was just a regular guy trying to do good. Ok, so I thought I had the whole mystery solved but I was only partially wrong. The story moved along at a good pace as there was so much going on. Well not so much that you lost track of what was happening. I could not stop reading. I thought the way the story flashed back to the past and gave little details at a time was enticing. These moments took place at the right time in the story. I hate when the story flashes back and forth and it is not a smooth progression. This book may be titled "The Last Taxi Ride" but it will not be the last ride I will take with this author! You have to check this book out.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I expected to like this but was disappointed. Glad I tried it as there were some clever twists following the problem of trusting the wrong people and where that can lead.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Larraine

    This is the second in what looks to be a promising series about a Sikh taxi driver. He is a former Indian army officer who got caught up in a scandal. (The author included some elemnts from the previous book so the reader wouldn't be lost.) He and his wife and daughter lived in Massachusetts. He became involved with a senator and had an affair with the senator's wife who died in his arms. Now he's in NYC trying to make a fresh start. One day he picks up an interesting fare: the now faded Bollywo This is the second in what looks to be a promising series about a Sikh taxi driver. He is a former Indian army officer who got caught up in a scandal. (The author included some elemnts from the previous book so the reader wouldn't be lost.) He and his wife and daughter lived in Massachusetts. He became involved with a senator and had an affair with the senator's wife who died in his arms. Now he's in NYC trying to make a fresh start. One day he picks up an interesting fare: the now faded Bollywood actress, Shebana Shah. Despite being middle aged, she is still beautiful. He talks to her about her shopping and she pulls things out of a bag to show him including a glittering Prada dress. When she leaves the dress in the cab, he tries to return it. Before he realizes it, he is a suspect in her murder. This is a fascinating story not just about a murder but about two very different worlds - New York City and Mumbai. The reader really gets a picture about what it's like to be an Indian or Pakistani immigrant. It's fascinating reading with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. I admit that I had an idea of what may have happened halfway through the book, but it didn't stop me from reading it and discovering that I was only half right!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sangeeta

    I read The Caretaker last year, and eagerly awaited The Last Taxi Ride. I think Taxi is even better than The Caretaker - Ranjit, our valiant hero, is now in NYC working as a taxi driver, when he gets sucked into a murder mystery. The thriller elements here are great- I really had no idea how the story would end until it did, and that's always a good sign. What is so good about the book, though, is the rich worlds that Ahmad represents - Little Guyana, Jackson Heights, taxi driver cafes, the trad I read The Caretaker last year, and eagerly awaited The Last Taxi Ride. I think Taxi is even better than The Caretaker - Ranjit, our valiant hero, is now in NYC working as a taxi driver, when he gets sucked into a murder mystery. The thriller elements here are great- I really had no idea how the story would end until it did, and that's always a good sign. What is so good about the book, though, is the rich worlds that Ahmad represents - Little Guyana, Jackson Heights, taxi driver cafes, the trade in human hair, the undersides of Bollywood - and the reader gets to see the world as Ranjit sees it, with an attention to class tensions, racial politics, and so on. In other words, it's a thriller but one with a very distinct voice and view. Finally, it's really cool to read a thriller that has a South Asian protagonist - it's rare, and very interesting.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Purti

    This was a pretty good "who done it" read that kept me intrigued and wanting to finish it to find out what happened. I was able to figure out murderer and what happened, which is why I didn't rate it higher. I wouldn't say this is an intellectual read or anything that opened your eyes to a new culture, which I think the author could have done with the diverse backgrounds of the characters. All in all a good beach read for the summer.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Angie Kim

    I read the first of the trilogy last summer, and the Last Taxi Ride is even better than the 1st (The Caretaker). Just as with the first novel, the author has done a masterful job of taking us inside two distinct & fascinating settings: NYC (specifically, the world of immigrant taxi drivers) and Bollywood. I found the protagonist here, Ranjit, to be so sympathetic and likeable--far from perfect, but with a core of decency and courage that drew me in. I won't spoil what happens, but suffice it to I read the first of the trilogy last summer, and the Last Taxi Ride is even better than the 1st (The Caretaker). Just as with the first novel, the author has done a masterful job of taking us inside two distinct & fascinating settings: NYC (specifically, the world of immigrant taxi drivers) and Bollywood. I found the protagonist here, Ranjit, to be so sympathetic and likeable--far from perfect, but with a core of decency and courage that drew me in. I won't spoil what happens, but suffice it to say, there is a really cool twist ending that fans of twist endings will just eat up! Love it!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    It was okay. Not wonderful, not complex, not gripping. I like the way Ahmad moves his stories back and forth between Asia and the US. I like his scene setting - in this case, the Indian and Pakistani scenes in New York, the taxi and limo drivers, the clubs, the hair businesses, the intersection of the movie industry and the mob. I find the character of Singh likable but a bit flat and his love life has been doomed from the start in both books. And the whole business with the twin sisters might as It was okay. Not wonderful, not complex, not gripping. I like the way Ahmad moves his stories back and forth between Asia and the US. I like his scene setting - in this case, the Indian and Pakistani scenes in New York, the taxi and limo drivers, the clubs, the hair businesses, the intersection of the movie industry and the mob. I find the character of Singh likable but a bit flat and his love life has been doomed from the start in both books. And the whole business with the twin sisters might as well have had flashing neon lights on it - what's the opposite of surprise?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Monica Bhide

    SUch a terrific and fast moving read! Ahmad has created a wonderful hero! I was cheering him on throughout the book. A page turner! Loved it!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn in FL

    I was fortunate enough to get an Advanced Reading Copy from Amazon in return for my review back in 2014. I have since read his other story, The Caretaker, which was phenomenal in my opinion. I am a huge fan of Mr. Ahmad and eagerly await his next book. A.X. Ahmad has an excellent command of all aspects of a good dramatic thriller, while reading his debut novel, The Caretaker, I had trouble putting it down at night, losing sleep trying to get to the end. "The Last Taxi Ride: A Ranjit Singh Novel" I was fortunate enough to get an Advanced Reading Copy from Amazon in return for my review back in 2014. I have since read his other story, The Caretaker, which was phenomenal in my opinion. I am a huge fan of Mr. Ahmad and eagerly await his next book. A.X. Ahmad has an excellent command of all aspects of a good dramatic thriller, while reading his debut novel, The Caretaker, I had trouble putting it down at night, losing sleep trying to get to the end. "The Last Taxi Ride: A Ranjit Singh Novel" is on par with the quality of his first effort. Ranjit Singh finds himself in middle of crises, no matter how much he yearns for quiet obscurity in his new country. In this novel, he becomes a primary murder suspect of a former Indian Superstar actress, Shabana Shah that he only met briefly, while driving his taxi. In order to clear his name, he must find the true culprit and the motive for her death to keep himself from prison or worse. Soon he discovers, that they share acquaintance with other Indian parties, whose interest in her death and past involvement with an Indian Mob boss require they must remain hidden to maintain cover from police, some as result of their own illicit activities. Even worse, the police seem motivated by more than just a closed murder case. He must find people that may know more Shabana and the Indian mob but they are trying hard to remain hidden for safety reasons. He must discover who is pulling what strings and who is telling him the truth. All is not as it appears on the surface, which is the only thing he knows with certainty. As he is untangles some matters, new complications arise. Mr. Ahmad is a wonder. He creates clear characters in such succinct language that illuminates the action, that too you are running alongside Singh and struggling to stay alive. The multiple plots are intriguing and complex but their resolution makes sense at the end. Ahmad doesn't pull any punches and the reader is challenged yet shown enough mercy through the foreshadowing to think they might just have a handle on the mystery. When you pick up his books, you empathize with those in harm's way and see their humanity. You want them to overcome their obstacles (even those of their own making) and succeed. This is the fruit of good story-telling, that the characters are meaningful and the plot is authentic. What more could you ask for in a story? I unquestionably would recommend his books to anyone searching for a dramatic thriller that grabs you and wrings you out and despite this has you begging for MORE! I hope that his publisher will put more effort in promoting A.X. Ahmad's work. I think his talents are being woefully missed by the literary community presently. I can't wait for his next story. I will be the first in line to read it!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    The Last Taxi Ride wobbled back and forth between a four star and a two star book. I'll start with the good stuff. The story. It was an interesting story and there were just enough clues to keep me thinking "I got it" but also enough twists to throw me off. All of the characters were immigrants, which added a lot of interest. Ranjit, himself, was, at times, likable. Although he seemed a bit too superman for me now and then, I appreciated his moral struggles and determination to build a good life The Last Taxi Ride wobbled back and forth between a four star and a two star book. I'll start with the good stuff. The story. It was an interesting story and there were just enough clues to keep me thinking "I got it" but also enough twists to throw me off. All of the characters were immigrants, which added a lot of interest. Ranjit, himself, was, at times, likable. Although he seemed a bit too superman for me now and then, I appreciated his moral struggles and determination to build a good life for himself and his daughter. Now the bad news. Total cop out to move book 2 of the series to a new venue, thereby eliminating any development of recurring characters. Even Ranjit's family is back in India, so with the exception of Ranjit, readers didn't get to know anybody other than in a superficial way. No ongoing relationships. Mr. Ahmad needs to do better with his female characters. Shabana Shah was the only female character who wasn't flat, trite, and behaving in implausible ways. Finally, enough with Ranjit's sex scenes, particularly the fact that he has no concerns about having unprotected sex. I thought he was supposed to be a grownup. Plus, is he really that hot? I don't see what the attraction is.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lynne

    Set in New York City, this novel reveals life in the "underbelly" of the city. Ranjit is a taxi driver, and when he finds himself implicated in a murder, he must discover what really happened. The story is certainly suspenseful, sometimes revealing brutality amongst people involved. There is a suspicion of an illegal import business. There is a gambling and prostitution ring involved. Because this all takes place in the immigrant neighborhood, there is poverty and fear of deportation. In the end Set in New York City, this novel reveals life in the "underbelly" of the city. Ranjit is a taxi driver, and when he finds himself implicated in a murder, he must discover what really happened. The story is certainly suspenseful, sometimes revealing brutality amongst people involved. There is a suspicion of an illegal import business. There is a gambling and prostitution ring involved. Because this all takes place in the immigrant neighborhood, there is poverty and fear of deportation. In the end, the taxi drivers that he knows are instrumental in helping him extricate himself from this difficulty. The novel maintains suspense throughout and it is a window into a culture that is not familiar to most of us.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nitya Iyer

    Miles and miles better than the previous installment. I began reading hesitantly, worried that I would be disappointed, but in the end, the read was well worth it. It actually twisted and turned well enough to keep me interested, as well as finding the right balance between Bollywood spice and New York ennui.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Steven Perry

    Randomly picked up this book and was pleasantly surprised. Elements of a well done mystery thriller all here. Pacing of story is well done and story will keep you entertained to the end

  14. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Dee

    Really interesting series with interesting characters.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy Hynous

    Liked it a lot. good story, interesting characters

  16. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    bleh....just okay. The story didn't hold up well for me. I had it figured out pretty early on. None of the characters really endeared themself to me, but I kept plodding along.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mary Kay

    Fascinating! Another terrific book about Ranjit Singh. He has a great attitude, he's super smart, and very sexy and appealing. The novel reflects a good deal of research, and the writer has a gift for keeping me glued till the end. Read it!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Brody

    A. X. Ahmed has done it again with this follow-up to his debut novel, The Caretaker. In this thrilling mystery, Ranjit Singh is back, living in New York City and working as a cab driver. He is waiting for his thirteen year-old daughter, Shanti, to arrive from India and possibly spend a year living with him. Though cab driving was supposed to be temporary, there appears to be nothing better on the horizon. He works a second job at night for a sleazy businessman named Jay Patel who imports hair th A. X. Ahmed has done it again with this follow-up to his debut novel, The Caretaker. In this thrilling mystery, Ranjit Singh is back, living in New York City and working as a cab driver. He is waiting for his thirteen year-old daughter, Shanti, to arrive from India and possibly spend a year living with him. Though cab driving was supposed to be temporary, there appears to be nothing better on the horizon. He works a second job at night for a sleazy businessman named Jay Patel who imports hair that is used for weaves and extensions. It is rumored that Patel has ties to the mafia. As the book begins, Ranjit picks up a fare who happens to be a huge Bollywood star, Shabana Shah. She lives in The Dakota in Manhattan, famous for once being the home of John Lennon. As Ranjit drops Shabana off, he realizes that he knows the doorman, Mohan. When he was in India, Ranjit was an army captain and Mohan was in the military academy. They make plans to have a drink that evening. When they meet, Mohan suggests that they go to Shabana's apartment to celebrate their reunion. She is out of town and he has the keys. He tells Ranjit that she doesn't mind his being there and it appears that Mohan is familiar with the apartment. The next day, Ranjit is picked up by the police. Shabana was murdered and Mohan is the primary suspect with Ranjit as the suspected accomplice. Ranjit is scheduled to go before the grand jury in five days but he is able to get bail and convince the police to let him try and find Mohan. Thus begins the wild ride that takes the reader from Mumbai to Dubai to New York City. Ranjit has excellent skills at fighting which he learned while he was in the military. He gets to use them as he protects himself from all sorts of thugs who are after him for various reasons. As Ranjit attempts to track down Mohan he is aware of the clock ticking. The grand jury is in five days and Shanti is scheduled to arrive the day after. He must find Mohan or he will end up in jail. To make matters more suspicious, Jay Patel, the hair importer who Ranjit works for at night, offer him $50,000 if he finds Mohan. The book goes into Shambana's past as a girl and young actress. Several chapters take place in Mumbai as Shambana and her sister, Ruksana, are growing up. We learn about their relationship and how Ruksana's face was scarred in a freak accident when Shambana accidentally overturned some boiling milk that landed on her sister. The book is well-written and some of the characters from The Caretaker appear in this novel. However, it is not essential that the reader be familiar with The Caretaker to appreciate this book on its own. I especially enjoyed learning about Ranjit's religion. He is a Sikh, and aspects of his religious practice are shared with the reader. One of the most important things about being a practicing Sikh is "right action" and "living the right way". Sometimes Ranjit disappoints himself but he tries to center his behavior on this belief system.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    So he has more in the series? I will keep an eye out...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    This was an extremely entertaining, well-written and easily-read murder mystery, which is possible to read in a day or two (a page-turner). It's set in NYC, so it's nice to read new/interesting/surprising descriptions of familiar stretches of road such as the Van Wyk, or the view from the Queensboro Bridge, and also every scene or neighborhood described clicks in "view" - at least for me it did since I've lived in NY all my life. What is the world of the Indian and Pakistani cabbies like? This g This was an extremely entertaining, well-written and easily-read murder mystery, which is possible to read in a day or two (a page-turner). It's set in NYC, so it's nice to read new/interesting/surprising descriptions of familiar stretches of road such as the Van Wyk, or the view from the Queensboro Bridge, and also every scene or neighborhood described clicks in "view" - at least for me it did since I've lived in NY all my life. What is the world of the Indian and Pakistani cabbies like? This gives you a glimpse into their world, which is interesting in itself. The reader gets some insight into the milieu of the Indian Guyanese community in NY, as well as that of the Sikhs. I thought the book was great from the standpoint of demystifying various communities - even some of the dialog is in Hindi (translated); by the end of the book, the reader is familiar with some Hindi sayings, and why in various social settings, honorifics might be used, and so forth. I thought Ahmed is a good observer of social nuance, and his writing is sparkling. Although the book describes the turmoil the protagonist is thrown into as he is virtually "framed" the entire book is exciting and upbeat/hopeful, which I enjoyed. Perhaps the "message" is that no matter how hopeless a situation may seem, there is always hope. The protagonist is a heroic figure - perhaps embodies an idealized version of India itself, with the key experience on the glacier somehow being the touchstone for the hero's (Ranjit's) psychic and ethical core. There are also Sikh prayers quoted often as chapter headings that are very fitting and speak to the hero's situation fighting a seemingly hopeless battle in a strange city. Who wouldn't pray if implicated in a crime they didn't commit? I don't think this is a "profound" book - it's extremely fast to read, very entertaining, contains endless observations about life in the five boroughs. I definitely recommend it and will probably also read the preceding Ranjit Singh novel ("The Caretaker").

  21. 5 out of 5

    Farzana

    A.X. Ahmad’s second novel of his Ranjit Singh trilogy is even better than the first. Ranjit Singh is a Sikh immigrant and in this second novel he has left Martha’s Vineyard for the streets of New York City. In this novel Ranjit has gone from caretaker to cab driver who crosses paths with a famous Bollywood actress, Shabana Shah, as a passenger in Ranjit’s cab. Ranjit is drawn to Shabana and her quiet sadness, but soon after meeting her, Shabana is murdered and Ranjit is a suspect. What follows i A.X. Ahmad’s second novel of his Ranjit Singh trilogy is even better than the first. Ranjit Singh is a Sikh immigrant and in this second novel he has left Martha’s Vineyard for the streets of New York City. In this novel Ranjit has gone from caretaker to cab driver who crosses paths with a famous Bollywood actress, Shabana Shah, as a passenger in Ranjit’s cab. Ranjit is drawn to Shabana and her quiet sadness, but soon after meeting her, Shabana is murdered and Ranjit is a suspect. What follows is a compelling read about New York’s underworld of immigrant cab drivers and neighborhoods intent on protecting their own. We follow Ranjit into Queens and explore Indian Jackson Heights and Little Guyana, an Indo-Guyanese enclave, and New York nightclubs catering to a select community of Mumbai mobsters and smugglers. As a Sikh, Ranjit is friend to both Muslim and Hindu, Pakistani and Indian, and through him we start to appreciate the differences between these groups, which to outsiders may be subtle, but to those who claim heritage in any one of these communities, are glaringly obvious. Ahmad is exceptionally skilled at linking events of past and present, New York City and India, and building tension through events that have as many twists and turns as the back alleys of New York. Ahmad’s granular descriptions of setting and characters delivered with grace, and at times humor, suggest he has somehow experienced firsthand the lives of immigrant cabbies and gangsters. This is a compelling and fascinating read that will stay with you long after you finish it, and leave you looking forward to the third and last installment of this series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Melinda

    I randomly picked up this book and gave it a read. It was an interesting read, especially given the characters are of various descents. I rather liked Ranjit Singh, who is trying to make things work after what happened 2 years ago (I didn't read the first book but enough information is provided in this book for you to understand what happened then). How often do you read an unintentional "hero" who is a Sikh? He is a good guy, generous to a fault and knows how to connect and lead people on a whol I randomly picked up this book and gave it a read. It was an interesting read, especially given the characters are of various descents. I rather liked Ranjit Singh, who is trying to make things work after what happened 2 years ago (I didn't read the first book but enough information is provided in this book for you to understand what happened then). How often do you read an unintentional "hero" who is a Sikh? He is a good guy, generous to a fault and knows how to connect and lead people on a whole other level, that most leaders lack. The story alternates between the present (with Ranjit) and the past (Shabana's story of how she came to become a famous Bollywood actress). Things are never what they appear, that is for sure. Everyone is connected in some way. You get a glimpse into different cultures, and a whole different world from our own. The plot and story line was pretty predictable, I already figured out what really happened part way through the book. Still with Ranjit doggedly pursuing the leads, it made for an interesting read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Toni Trees

    I fell in love with "A.X. Ahmad's" writing through an unplanned purchase of The Caretaker at a local dollar store. I followed that delicious experience with a mainline store purchase of this book, and I'm eagerly awaiting another Ranjit Singh book--or even something outside this series by "Ahmad." His stories are not only great reading (for both plot and language), but they offer plenty of information about India, Indian immigrants, adapting to the U.S., and--best of all--about Sikhs. (There wer I fell in love with "A.X. Ahmad's" writing through an unplanned purchase of The Caretaker at a local dollar store. I followed that delicious experience with a mainline store purchase of this book, and I'm eagerly awaiting another Ranjit Singh book--or even something outside this series by "Ahmad." His stories are not only great reading (for both plot and language), but they offer plenty of information about India, Indian immigrants, adapting to the U.S., and--best of all--about Sikhs. (There were two Sikh brothers, last name Singh, of course, at my high school, but I can't say I made the effort to learn much about their religion. The Ranjit Singh books help me make up that embarrassing lacuna.) The relationship between Ranjit and his teenage daughter is touching, and I especially enjoyed the inclusion of various prayers Ranjit uses when he needs particular lessons. "Ahmad" has written several short stories, published in magazines I don't have easy access to, and I'm not sure what name he published them under. I'd love to read some, and hope he'll compile them in a book I can order.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Garryvivianne

    Ranjit Singh, a New York City taxi cab driver has been accused of the murder of a well known Bollywood actress. He had been seen on camera entering the apartment building where he went to return a dress that she had left in his cab. There he sees an old friend, the doorman, who actually takes him into the apartment of the actress. The doorman, supposedly has an "in" with Shabana the actress. So Ranjit's fingerprints are all over the scene, and the doorman is missing. Ranjit has ten days to prove Ranjit Singh, a New York City taxi cab driver has been accused of the murder of a well known Bollywood actress. He had been seen on camera entering the apartment building where he went to return a dress that she had left in his cab. There he sees an old friend, the doorman, who actually takes him into the apartment of the actress. The doorman, supposedly has an "in" with Shabana the actress. So Ranjit's fingerprints are all over the scene, and the doorman is missing. Ranjit has ten days to prove his innocence. He is a great character. The story bounces back & forth between Ranjit's life in New York & the actress Shabana's life growing up with her sister. The story is fun and fast paced. Apparently Ranjit Singh's character is also in author's other book named "The Caretaker". I will have to check that out also, as I like the style of writing & the main character is a good guy.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dale

    In this second Ranjit Singh novel, the author once more expertly shows us a world that exists parallel to ours, yet is hidden. This is not a paranormal experience, just the norm when separate societies and classes exist side-by-side. Our protagonist is a man with a troubled past, now struggling as a taxi driver in New York. He has a host of problems, which get worse when he gets tangled in a web of violence and money. He tries to navigate his way through a dangerous net of gangsters, movie stars In this second Ranjit Singh novel, the author once more expertly shows us a world that exists parallel to ours, yet is hidden. This is not a paranormal experience, just the norm when separate societies and classes exist side-by-side. Our protagonist is a man with a troubled past, now struggling as a taxi driver in New York. He has a host of problems, which get worse when he gets tangled in a web of violence and money. He tries to navigate his way through a dangerous net of gangsters, movie stars, and party girls. The lower-wage folk who serve the Manhattan elite are practically invisible, except when needed for a task. But they have lives, often complicated and difficult, and when you add murder and betrayal to the mix, things get messy. Good for the readers, though, because we're involved in the mess right from the start, and we're pulled along for a scary, engrossing ride. A sure winner of a book, entertaining and instructive.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Ranjit Singh should stay away from women. They end up dead and causing him lots of grief. In this book, the second in the series, he is driving a cab in NYC and has the good fortune to meet a Bollywood star and an old friend from his days in the Indian Army. The bonhomie of that reunion is quickly obliterated with the death of the Bollywood star and he's the principal suspect in her murder. And his friend is on the run. We have a good pace in this mystery and then it bogs down a little in the mi Ranjit Singh should stay away from women. They end up dead and causing him lots of grief. In this book, the second in the series, he is driving a cab in NYC and has the good fortune to meet a Bollywood star and an old friend from his days in the Indian Army. The bonhomie of that reunion is quickly obliterated with the death of the Bollywood star and he's the principal suspect in her murder. And his friend is on the run. We have a good pace in this mystery and then it bogs down a little in the middle. There are flashbacks of the Bollywood star's past life which really don't add much and almost seem like filler at times. The end is filled with lots of twists and turns that I should have seen coming. It will be interesting to see if Ranjit Singh ends up in California for the next book. He's a restless man seeking to find himself and it's a good thing he has some juice with a US Senator.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lemar

    A.X. Ahmad brings the perspective of a Sikh cabbie in New York to this page turner. His pacing was excellent and the characters were believable. Non Indian characters were relegated to an extremely minor role, to the detriment of the book. Ahmad stands above many writers in the genre with passages like this one describing the main character after saving a kid stuck in a tree, "With the boy safe, Ranjit pauses for a second, tingling from the adrenaline of the climb. The park is spread out below h A.X. Ahmad brings the perspective of a Sikh cabbie in New York to this page turner. His pacing was excellent and the characters were believable. Non Indian characters were relegated to an extremely minor role, to the detriment of the book. Ahmad stands above many writers in the genre with passages like this one describing the main character after saving a kid stuck in a tree, "With the boy safe, Ranjit pauses for a second, tingling from the adrenaline of the climb. The park is spread out below him, green and undulating, and he feels, for a second, the way he did when he climbed high up on the Siachen Glacier: at peace, removed from the fray of everyday life. From up here, everything seems neat, organized, making perfect sense. It's on the ground that life becomes complicated and confused."

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joanne Kelleher

    This would be more like 3.5 and I could be on the low side because it's not my genre. I must have skimmed over the description of the book because I didn't realize it was a murder mystery. When the murder happened early on, I thought about abandoning the book but I am glad I stuck with it. One thing I really liked is that it takes place where I grew up, Richmond Hill, Queens, which is now Little Guyana, as it describes in the book. I also liked the main character, Ranjit, a cabbie with some bagg This would be more like 3.5 and I could be on the low side because it's not my genre. I must have skimmed over the description of the book because I didn't realize it was a murder mystery. When the murder happened early on, I thought about abandoning the book but I am glad I stuck with it. One thing I really liked is that it takes place where I grew up, Richmond Hill, Queens, which is now Little Guyana, as it describes in the book. I also liked the main character, Ranjit, a cabbie with some baggage and a big heart. When he finds himself as the prime suspect in a murder investigation, he uses his wits to find out the truth. I was rooting for him as he faced seemingly impossible odds in disentangling himself from the situation without getting killed. This is the second book featuring Ranjit Singh and I would probably read the first.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Marissa

    Goodreads Win Ranjit Singh a New York City taxi driver finds himself having to prove his innocence in ten days before he is accused of a Bollywood star. Shabana Shah the iconic Bollywood was found murder after her dinner with Ranjit. He is prime suspect since his fingerprints are on the murder weapon and is caught on film leaving her place. His only witness is the doorman who has vanished. Under a deadline to prove his innocence before his daughter arrives from India. He finds himself dealing with Goodreads Win Ranjit Singh a New York City taxi driver finds himself having to prove his innocence in ten days before he is accused of a Bollywood star. Shabana Shah the iconic Bollywood was found murder after her dinner with Ranjit. He is prime suspect since his fingerprints are on the murder weapon and is caught on film leaving her place. His only witness is the doorman who has vanished. Under a deadline to prove his innocence before his daughter arrives from India. He finds himself dealing with seedy night clubs, gangsters and shady businessmen. All is not what it seems as secret dwell as well as Shabana’s past An page turner that moves along the various locations as he solves the murder in question.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Eileen Iciek

    Wow! This book was a fun ride - I did not want to put it down. It continued the story of Ranjit Singh (previously seen in The Caretaker), a Sikh immigrant now living in New York city and working as a taxi driver. The story tells us a little of the worlds of Indian and Pakistani cab drivers, Bollywood, the Mumbai mafia, and something I had never heard of before - the trade in human hair to be woven into the hair of the rich and famous. I enjoyed the excellent writing, the exotic (for me) characte Wow! This book was a fun ride - I did not want to put it down. It continued the story of Ranjit Singh (previously seen in The Caretaker), a Sikh immigrant now living in New York city and working as a taxi driver. The story tells us a little of the worlds of Indian and Pakistani cab drivers, Bollywood, the Mumbai mafia, and something I had never heard of before - the trade in human hair to be woven into the hair of the rich and famous. I enjoyed the excellent writing, the exotic (for me) characters involved in the story, and the action never stopped. This novel was as good as the best Michael Connelly, but spiced with Indian flavors.

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