Kids Corner


The Last Taxi Ride:
The Second Ranjit Singh Thriller

AMAZON, et al




THE LAST TAXI RIDE: A RANJIT SINGH NOVEL (II), by A.X. Ahmed, Minotaur Books, 2014. Hardcover, pp 368. ISBN-10: 125001686X; ISBN-13: 978-1250016867

While previous authors have detailed the immigrant experience and the problems of assimilation, A.X. Ahmad’s The Last Taxi Ride takes the immigrant novel one step further: he re-interprets the mystery novel, interweaving it with issues of globalization and immigration.

Tightly paced and suspenseful, The Last Taxi Ride expands the unique genre A.X. Ahmad has created for himself -- the literate, intelligent crime thriller.
Ex-Army Captain, a newly-minted Sikh-American Ranjit Singh now works as a cab driver on the hard streets of New York City. Divorced and missing his teenage daughter in India, his life is turned upside down when he picks up Bollywood actress Shabana Shah.

But his awakening romantic daydreams are dashed when the actress is found murdered.

The last person to see her alive, Ranjit finds himself walking a fine line between the police who want to frame him and shadowy "business men" intent on finding the killer.

The body was found in the apartment where Ranjit ate dinner mere hours before. Ranjit’s fingerprints are all over the murder weapon, an idol of the Hindu elephant deity Ganesh used to grotesquely smash the actress’ beautiful face.

Caught on film leaving the apartment alone, Ranjit is accused by the NYPD as an accessory to murder.

To find the real murderer, he must depend on Leela, a young Indo-Guyanese woman who is a ‘bottle girl’ in a nightclub that the actress frequented. As the pair stumble into Shabana Shah’s hidden past and run afoul of a dark, dangerous international underworld, Ranjit must find a way to save them both.

Ranjit’s only credible alibi is Shabana’s Indian doorman, but he has vanished. With a Grand Jury arraignment looming in 10 days, and Ranjit’s teenage daughter about to arrive from India, he must find the doorman.

His search through the underbelly of New York leads to the world of high-end nightclub owners, back-alley Mumbai gangsters and to Jay Patel, a shady businessman who imports human hair. As his investigation for the true killer reveals layers of Shabana Shah’s hidden past, Ranjit does not know whom to trust.

He can rely only on his army training, his taxi-driver knowledge of New York, and his cabbie friends.

New York City taxi driver Ranjit Singh, hero of A.X. Ahmad’s heralded debut novel, The Caretaker, has 10 days to prove his innocence ...

With time quickly running out, can Ranjit clear his name before his fare is up?

The Last Taxi Ride is the second novel in the Ranjit Singh trilogy.

A.X. Ahmad was raised in India, educated at Vassar College and M.I.T., and has worked as an international architect. His short stories and essays have been published in many literary magazines. He splits his time between Washington, D.C. and Brooklyn.

May 14, 2014

Conversation about this article

1: Sangat Singh  (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), May 14, 2014, 1:15 PM.

Sher, is there any subject that has remained untouched? You have taken far. Were you ever an understudy of Alfred Hitchcock?

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