And that denouement may be even more mysterious than it had to be.

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“Six Suspects” aspires to broadly entertaining pratfalls, and it is endlessly eager to please.

Not even the corrupt politician who figures in the plot (and whose wheeling and dealing are conveyed by transcripts of his outrageous phone calls) is terribly complicated, although Mr.

Somebody duped him into falling in love with her picture and mistaking her for a mail-order bride.

Larry, of course, has his own capacity for creating mix-ups, since he shares his name with one of the two Google founders and strikes ruthless terrorists as a good target for kidnapping. Swarup generally treats his characters warmly, but this American is made a boorish lout.

Swarup can use the simplest characters to create frissons of mystery.

The politician is Vicky Rai’s father, and he has grown increasingly impatient with his son’s arrogance.

Highly recommended.” —Booklist “It has the same virtues as Slumdog Millionaire: surprising inventiveness, original plot, wild narrative pace, a (dark) sense of humor, and an icy critique, all wrapped up as a comedy to make it more palatable for the reader” —El Periódico (Spain) “All the ingredients of his debut novel are present: a strong story structure, a smooth no-nonsense narrative style with a lot of humor, and a kaleidoscopic overview of the Indian society.” —HP/De Tijd (Holland) “Disorientating, entertaining and mysterious, the new ‘comedy-thriller’ from Vikas Swarup thrills our every nerve…you are left with excitement and happiness that builds right to the last page” —Elle (France) by Marcel Berlins July 27, 2008 I do not normally recommend crime novels longer than 500 pages [Editorial Note: the published version is a mere 472 pages! It begins and ends with the shooting of a rich, spoilt playboy, ‘Vicky’ Rai, at his own lavish party, held to celebrate his wrongful acquittal on a murder charge – engineered by his corrupt father, the Home Minister of Uttar Pradesh.

Everyone at the party was searched, but only six were found to have guns, a disparate bunch with wildly different possible motives – personal, political, and plain dotty.

Shabnam worries so much about her image and reputation that she really ought to anticipate how much trouble the story has thrown her way, once there turns out to be an innocent country girl who looks enough like Shabnam to be her double.

Meanwhile, on a plane from the United States, an idiot named Larry Page is headed from Texas to India with plans to make Shabnam his bride.

The odd-couple romances that bloom in these pages help tie together what are essentially six novellas.