Quick Reads: "The Story of My Assassins" by Tarun J. Tejpal

| Mon Sep. 24, 2012 5:00 AM EDT

The Story of My Assassins

By Tarun J. Tejpal

MELVILLE HOUSE

To remedy a "journalism of public relations" in his native India, Tarun J. Tejpal cofounded a muckraking magazine whose exposés earned him an assassination attempt and six government bodyguards. In this fictional memoir, Tejpal's reporter-narrator investigates five men accused of plotting to kill him. What starts off as a repugnant protagonist's account becomes a gripping exploration of the country's underworld, from train station thugs to weapon-smuggling rings. With characters funny, flawed, and redeemable, Tejpal challenges our notions of hit man and target, and leaves us mulling over the gnarled and vibrant tapestry of modern-day India.

This review originally appeared in our September/October issue of Mother Jones.