One night in the summer of 2014, two teenagers disappeared from their home in the village of Katra Sadatganj in Uttar Pradesh. The next morning India woke up to the devastating image of their dead bodies hanging from a tree in a mango orchard.
The girls' names were Padma and Lalli, but they were so inseparable that people in the village called them Padma Lalli. Sixteen-year-old Padma sparked and burned. Fourteen-year-old Lalli was an incorrigible romantic. Who were they and what had happened to them? In the ensuing months, the investigation into their deaths would implode everything that their small community held to be true and instigate a national conversation about sex and violence.
Slipping deftly behind political manoeuvring, caste systems and codes of honour in a village in northern India, The Good Girls returns to the scene of Padma and Lalli's short lives and tragic deaths, and dares to ask: what is the human cost of shame?
'I was utterly gripped by this painstakingly detailed and heart-wrenching account of a shocking true crime, beautifully written by one of the finest journalists of our generation. Sonia Faleiro uncovers the fatal limitations of India's justice system, and the dark, intimate reality of the aftermath of murder. My favourite book this year.'
Angela Saini, author of Superior, Inferior, and Geek Nation
'A compulsively readable whodunit, as fast-moving as a mystery novel, which at a whole deeper level offers profound observations about caste and sexuality in rural India.'
Barbara Demick, author of Nothing to Envy