ORIGINS OF LOVE, by Kishwar Desai. Simon & Schuster, 2013, 496 pp., £7.99 (paperback)

Kishwar Desai calls her novels social thrillers; books set in the beating heart of modern-day India that lay bare its caldron of inequalities, injustices and cultural traditions. The first, 2010’s “Witness the Night,” won the Costa first novel award — and deservedly so; it somehow managed to deal with female infanticide in India without ever resorting to heavy-handed polemic.

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