Lost Libido and other gulp fiction by Salil Desai is a collection of seventeen extremely interesting short stories. The author’s works have featured in several anthologies, newspapers and magazines. This is his third book, the earlier two being very well received murder novels. The language is flawless, and all the stories have rather surprising and uncanny twists, which make for absorbing reading throughout.
The first story, Lost Libido, sees the lack of emotional and physical intimacy wrecking the marriage of a career-oriented and rushed couple, when the attempt to rekindle life comes a little too late: Sometimes on Sunday mornings, Aakash felt the faint stirrings of that lost desire. But by the time that elusive impulse moved from his mind to his flesh, the million oppressive anxieties of the short weekend would have kicked in.
In Who Strangled Sharma? an auto-driver murders his passenger’s boss on the condition that the passenger, in return, kill the driver’s own brother. The motives, the boss has caught the passenger embezzling and the auto driver is lusting after his brother’s buxom wife. But murderers are tricky customers.
Hunch on a Highway is about a terrorist with a bomb on a bus, Drowning Depth sees a drowning victim coming back from the dead to drag frightened swimmers into the depths of a swimming pool.
Bit on the Side sees a 40-year-old Lothario engineering his escape from a woman in her early twenties after tiring of her, only to get trapped by a twist in her outlook. When the Horse Befriended the Grass is about two thieves who experience a change of heart. Good writing at a bargain price!
Lost Libido and other gulp fiction
by Salil Desai
Fingerprint! (Prakash Books)