Just finished Karan Mahajan’s new novel The Association of Small Bombs. Set in Delhi, India, the story considers a small terrorist attack in a crowded market that shatters two families, one Hindu and the other Muslim. What I found most compelling is Mahajan’s willingness to depict the perpetrators as human. They are motivated to commit their egregious acts more by fear and petty grievances than by ideology. At its heart, it is a novel about terror and pain, humanity’s most unrepentant jailer.