The Good Girls: An Ordinary Killing


Author: Sonia Faleiro

9780670088829 | HB | pp. 352 | 2021 | Hamish Hamilton

By the award-winning writer of Beautiful Thing, a masterly inquest into how the mysterious deaths of two teenage girls shone a light into the darkest corners of a nation.

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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.

Drawing on official documents, news reports, and personal interviews, the author attempts to piece together the events that led up to the girls’ deaths, and the extraordinary events that followed. Sonia Faleiro does her best to establish a timeline and unravel the often contradictory information that is a hallmark of this investigation. This is a complex case that involves a large number of people, and is forced to take into account issues of family structure, tradition, poverty, caste, religion, and political corruption to explain both its origin and its development.

Some text is borrowed from a Goodreads review by Shelleyrae at Book’d Out


Sonia Faleiro





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Hamish Hamilton





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About the Author

Sonia Faleiro is an award-winning reporter and writer. She is the author of a book of fiction, The Girl, and a contributor to numerous anthologies including AIDS Sutra: Untold Stories from India. She has reported for publications including India Today and Tehelka, and is now a contributing editor with Vogue. Sonia was born in Goa, studied in Edinburgh and lives in San Francisco. She is working on her second book of non-fiction.


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