Age of Vice

Deepti Kapoor

Age of Vice
Little, Brown Book Group
United Kingdom
10 January 2023

Age of Vice

Deepti Kapoor

This is the age of vice, where pleasure and power are everything, and the family ties that bind can also kill.

New Delhi, 3 a.m. A speeding Mercedes jumps the kerb, and in the blink of an eye five people are dead. It's a rich man's car, but when the dust settles there is no rich man at all, just a shell-shocked servant who cannot explain the strange series of events that led to this crime. Nor can he foresee the dark drama that is about to unfold.

Deftly shifting through time and perspective in contemporary India, Age of Vice is an epic, action-packed story propelled by the seductive wealth, startling corruption, and bloodthirsty violence of the Wadia family-loved by some, loathed by others, feared by all.

In the shadow of lavish estates, extravagant parties, predatory business deals, and calculated political influence, three lives become dangerously intertwined: Ajay is the watchful servant, born into poverty, who rises through the family's ranks. Sunny is the playboy heir who dreams of outshining his father, whatever the cost. And Neda is the curious journalist caught between morality and desire. Against a sweeping plot fueled by loss, pleasure, greed, yearning, violence, and revenge, will these characters' connections become a path to escape, or a trigger of further destruction?

Equal parts crime thriller and family saga, transporting readers from the dusty villages of Uttar Pradesh to the urban energy of New Delhi, Age of Vice is an intoxicating novel of gangsters and lovers, false friendships, forbidden romance, and the consequences of corruption. It is binge-worthy entertainment at its literary best.


This latest release from Deepti Kapoor is not your conventional crime thriller-slash-police procedural. It is very far from it. Rather, Kapoor has delivered an expansive, cinematic literary thriller. 

At the outset, five people are killed when an expensive car ploughs into pedestrians on a busy street in New Delhi. Narratively speaking, the ripples from this event propel readers into a tale of corruption, greed and revenge, with the legendary, criminal Wadia family at its centre. Orbiting this are Kapoor’s three central characters, who grapple with the powerful forces that only enormous amounts of money and influence can command, as well as their own deeply personal struggles. 

We first meet Ajay, a young man from a poverty-stricken neighbourhood in a village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, and follow his journey to become a ‘Wadia man’ in the employ of Sunny, the ultra-rich heir to the Wadia criminal enterprise. Ajay has a good heart, but the slow erosion of his spirit and moral compass leads him to pursue redemption through revenge. Sunny is a different kettle of fish, decidedly uneasy about his father’s amoral and unethical activities. He wants out, but like any other opponent of his father’s empire, finds it increasingly difficult to make a clean break. For Neda, an investigative reporter and erstwhile lover of Sunny’s, the challenge is to maintain her core and independence as a journalist to avoid losing her moral centre. All three characters are flawed, but Kapoor has written them with great empathy, such that readers willconnect with each. 

Age of Vice demonstrates Kapoor’s formidable talents as a storyteller. It was a fantastic book to see in 2023 with. We’re in for a great year if we keep getting gems like this one!

Julia Jackson is the assistant manager at Readings Carlton

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