7 of 8
By Vikram Chandra
992 pp.; Harper Perennial

Chandra's novel about Mumbai's criminal underworld follows a Sikh officer, Sartaj, who is untangling a web of corruption spun by the city's savvy gangsters. The Netflix series is shot on location in India and stars veteran Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan. But the brilliant 2007 book—which nearly clocks in at 1,000 pages—includes vivid portraits of Mumbai life, ranging from the slums to the compounds of the ultrarich, as well as forays into Hindi folklore, films, food and more. At heart, the book is an old-fashioned police procedural, but Chandra gracefully and boldly captures the nuances of an entire society. (Date to be announced, Netflix)