We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

‘Conjures up a memorable world that is ghee-greased, polluted, mired in dust and corruption’ Sunday Times

A satire on modern India…this isn’t a story about poverty, it’s a story about wealth’ Guardian

Ramesh has a simple formula for fame and success: find a wealthy kid, make him a star and create an elaborate scheme to extort money from his parents, what could go wrong?

As a self-styled ‘examinations consultant’, Ramesh is the cog in the wheel that keeps India’s middle classes thriving. When he takes an exam for Rudi – an intolerably lazy but rich teenager – he accidently scores the highest mark in the country and propels Rudi into stardom.

What next?
Blackmail. Reality television. Grotesque wealth.

And after that?
Kidnap. Double-kidnap. Reverse kidnap.

In a studio filled with hot lights, with millions of eyes on the boys, and a government investigator circling, the entire country begins to question: who are they?

Reviews

You can absolutely imagine How to Kidnap the Rich blazing across the screen. It roars through New and Old Delhi , sending up new money and old money, and taking an acerbic yet affectionately head-tilted, eyebrow-raised look at the corruption, hypocrisy and dynamism of modern India...Ramesh is a bracingly cynical and funny narrator: endlessly snarking about insincerity and greed, with a side helping of self-flagellation for being no better than he ought to be - just a kid from a chai stall, plucked from poverty and educated by a saintly white nun, who's somehow ended up a serial kidnapper.
Observer
Like Mohsin Hamid's How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, How to Kidnap the Rich purports to be a how-to manual but is in fact a rollicking urban adventure and a biting satire of inequality. Mr Raina adds a fast-paced crime caper and a stream of caustic humour.... a highly entertaining first novel from a writer to watch
The Economist
This is an absolute riot - part thriller, part satire of contemporary urban India...Ramesh is a wonderfully vivid character and this is an explosively funny, surprisingly moving debut
Mail on Sunday
India's politicians, endemic corruption, national obsession with the West and above all its super-rich come in for a bashing in How to Kidnap the Rich...what stands out in this book is its unapologetic depiction of a Delhi that's frankly a bit rubbish...But there's a fondness in this biting negativity, which convinces more than the graceful descriptive passages of other India-set novels. Chuck in twists and double-crossings, just the right amount of violence and a denouement in a besieged TV studio and you can't fail to be entertained
Novel of the Week, Sunday Telegraph
A satire, a love story and a thriller, How To Kidnap The Rich by Rahul Raina has shades of The Talented Mr Ripley that also casts an unerring eye over the huge disparity in Indian society. A rollercoaster of a read, this is going to be big
Stylist
Reading How to Kidnap the Rich by Rahul Raina was like being put in a sports car with no seat belt. Rakesh Kumar, the protagonist, gets your attention in minutes . . . How to Kidnap the Rich promises wit, satire, strange twists and will leave you entertained, frantically turning page after page . . . This one's a wild ride
Resh Susan, The Book Satchel
A splendidly enjoyable farcical crime caper
Daily Mirror
A joyous love/hate letter to contemporary Delhi . . . Genuine feeling flows beneath the potty-mouthed satire as it gradually spirals into farce. Rahul Raina suggests life may be "a relentless parade of fear", but it is far better to laugh than cry
The Times (The month's best crime novels)
A wild and wildly funny ride through a modern day India that pits the poor against the rich, high tech against ancient traditions and one smart hustler against anyone who gets in his way
Red magazine
Raina's debut novel lives up to its billing as a fun caper and social satire thanks to strong characterisation, a fast-paced plot and an eye for the ridiculous. His delicious skewering of the social mores of Delhi's über-rich and clear-eyed rendering of India's social hierarchy propel sheer entertainment into striking elucidation in the mode of Aravind Adiga
Shoba Viswanathan, Booklist
An exciting blend of crime caper, satire, love story and social commentary . . . Raina, who was born in Delhi, neatly skewers the inequalities of Indian society, racism (education is merely a tool to a "whiter life"), sexism, and celebrity . . . Along with the fast-paced twists, Raina also satirises the state of modern India: the repercussions of the ongoing rivalry with Pakistan; the spectre of China as the predominant world superpower; the shallowness of modern culture; and the country's pervasive corruption.
May's Best Reads, Independent
Rahul Raina's How to Kidnap the Rich has already been optioned by HBO: a Delhi-set, reality TV-based literary crime crossover, it will appeal to fans of Parasite and Crazy Rich Asians
Daily Mail
With its witty, ruthless skewering of the Indian middle classes, Rahul Raina's roistering, whip-smart and deliciously fun Delhi-set crime caper, How to Kidnap the Rich, is the first great state-of-the-subcontinent novel of the 21st century
The Bookseller
Intelligent, witty and sublime. I'm hooked. Remember the name. You'll be hearing more of it in future
Abir Mukherjee, author of A RISING MAN
Brutally funny and fast-paced, this debut from Rahul Raina proves he is a star in the making
Nikesh Shukla
White Tiger meets Caddyshack the movie in Raina's lively novel, brimming with rat-a-tat-tat wit, breezy prose and a keen observation of colorism, casteism and social inequity. Unputdownable!
Alka Joshi, NYT bestselling author of The Henna Artist
[A] funny and touching satirical action thriller, in a setting that feels very fresh
Morning Star
Fans of My Sister the Serial Killer, Parasite and Crazy Rich Asians will be enthralled by this riotous tale from the very first line . . . A hugely entertaining and unique debut that satirically dissects India's inequalities
Cosmopolitan
Through a thrilling cross-sectional tale - that feels like a crime caper-meets-reality TV show-meets-time-hopping love story - Raina lets loose a real rollercoaster of a read, complete with a delightful twist
Apple Books Best of the Month
Eye-opening and huge fun . . . . A merciless attack on the iniquities of new India in the guise of a comedy thriller
Claire Allfree, Metro
Rahul Raina's voice crackles with wit and the affecting exuberance of youth. His ripping good story grabs you on page one and doesn't let go, taking you on a monstrously funny and unpredictable wild ride through a thousand different Delhis at top speed. How To Kidnap the Rich roars with brilliance, freshness and so much heart
Kevin Kwan, author of CRAZY RICH ASIANS
[A] savage cinematic caper . . . In Rahul Raina's satirical state-of-the-nation debut, which slices into the soul of contemporary Indian society, things aren't always the way they appear . . . Social commentary meets stand-up comedy, as with a biting wit reminiscent of Binyavanga Wainaina's essay "How to Write About Africa" or Paul Beatty's Booker-winner The Sellout, Raina stretches stereotype and cliche into incisive satire
Guardian
Sparky satire on modern India . . . a lot of fun
Sainsburys magazine
A fun, fast-paced debut...HBO and the Oscar-nominated actor and producer Riz Ahmed have wisely already bought the screen rights to this Delhi-set, society-skewering debut caper...Raina, 28, was inspired to write How to Kidnap the Rich by the US "Varsity Blues" admissions scandal, but it is his depiction of bustling, hustling Delhi and its grafting populace that makes this tightly written, fast-paced, often sharply savage societal satire such a rollicking read. He conjures up a memorable world that is ghee-greased, polluted, mired in dust and corruption, but also thrusting...An impressively entertaining but also insightful debut
Sunday Times
Energetic, vivid and funny, Ramesh's narrative voice is magnificent and full of vigour
Scottish Daily Mail
A satirical crime thriller-cum-profound social commentary, this is an uproarious ride through the caste system of Delhi, new and old. Energetic wit pours out of Raina's prose, while an acerbic bite highlights inequalities in race, sex and social class . . . Veering from ridiculous to heart-rending, Raina's exhilarating debut is pure entertainment
Rebecca Wilcock, i Paper