Shehan Karunatilaka's debut novel, Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew, published in 2011, won the Commonwealth Book Prize, the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and the Gratiaen Prize. He lives mostly in Colombo, and partly in Singapore, with a wife, two children and four guitars. His second novel, Chats with the Dead is a comedy about ghosts.
Who is Malinda Albert Kablana? How did he die?
Renegade war photographer Maali Almeida has to solve his own murder. Does that sound fun? It would if there weren't so much bloody red-tape to get through. Oh and it's not as though anyone alive actually seems to miss him, and it certainly doesn't help that his girlfriend is related to his boyfriend. Worst of all, it's all those goddamn memories of war, constantly interrupted by the overly chatty dead folks breezing through the afterlife. Besides, he's so busy solving his ethical dilemmas that there's barely any time to solve a murder- even if it's his own.
A compulsively readable dark comedy about life, death, and everything in between, Chats with the Dead, exposes the plight of a country caught in civil war. Its deliciously compelling absurdity holds you in thrall right from the very first page, and up to its startling denouement, constantly upending its own premise with its staggering humanity.
Shehan Karunatilaka delivers a classic whodunit with a brilliant twist.