Parallel Lives examines the anatomy of a custodial death in the 1990s, in a Madras that is becoming Chennai. The story of the investigation is interspersed with the story of the city through the eyes of the civil servant Hari. A parallel narrative is woven in from the perspective of a beggar on a pavement, whose life stands testimony to the breakdown of the migrant dream. The outcome of the investigation and the identity of the beggar keep the reader guessing until the final reveal.
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