The Good Girls: An Ordinary Killing

Grove. Feb. 2021. 352p. ISBN 9780802158208. $26. CRIME
Faleiro (Beautiful Thing) tells the story of the infamous deaths of two girls in Katra, Uttar Pradesh, India, in 2014. The teenage girls vanished one night and were found hanging from a tree the next morning. The case gained international media and social media attention, especially after the medical examiner reported evidence of rape. Part true-crime tale, part social commentary, Faleiro’s account guides readers through the evidence and potential explanations for the girls’ deaths as investigators uncover new evidence. In the first part of the book, Faleiro introduces the key players while reflecting on the effects of poverty on the rural community in Katra and the political climate in India. Later, Faleiro uses the ongoing investigation to reflect on the status of women in India, particularly surrounding issues of rape, caste, and the community’s rigid code of honor. She explains the history of Uttar Pradesh, including occasional independent movements, in order to provide more context about the region and its close ties to Nepal, while also shedding insight into how others in India view the province.
VERDICT An interesting look into women’s lives in India. Recommended for readers interested in women’s issues.
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