The winner of the Harvill Secker/Daily Telegraph crime writing competition.Captain Sam Wyndham, former Scotland Yard detective, is a new arrival to Calcutta. Desperately seeking a fresh start after his experiences during the Great War, Wyndham has been recruited to head up a new post in the police force. But with barely a moment to acclimatise to his new life or to deal with the ghosts which still haunt him, Wyndham is caught up in a murder investigation that will take him into the dark underbelly of the British Raj.
A senior official has been murdered, and a note left in his mouth warns the British to quit India - or else. With rising political dissent and the stability of the Raj under threat, Wyndham and his two new colleagues - arrogant Inspector Digby and British-educated but Indian-born Sergeant Banerjee, one of the few Indians to be recruited into the new CID - embark on an investigation that will take them from the luxurious parlours of wealthy British traders to the seedy opium dens of the city. The start of an atmospheric and enticing new historical crime series.
©2016 Abir Mukherjee (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks
It is no surprise that this book has won an award; it is so much more than a crime novel, as it is set at the time of the movement for Indian independence from the British Raj and paints a clear picture of life in Calcutta in 1919.
Told from the perspective of Wyndham who is is something of an outsider, it provides observations on colonial attitudes and of the inevitable changes which would bear fruition in 1948..But, above all, it's a brilliant and intriguing story, narrated perfectly by Simon Bubb who seems to capture the essence of the character..Highly recommended
The narration is very good, the narrator is able to change voices in a subtle way that adds to the story. The knowledge of the author regarding the situation in India at the time is excellent, and real events are woven into the story seamlessly. One grows to like the main character, even though he has been damaged by his war experiences. Other characters are well written and challenge stereotypes.The story is gripping and reveals much about British Imperialism without shoving it down your throat as it were. Very good writing.
Tedious, turgid, couldn't care less. I think we've had enough books about in-jar from the PoV of white middle class men working out their personal angst through realising they were on the wrong side. Too much flies and heat, mad dogs and Englishmen, and frankly I'd have murdered the whole bloody lot of them, so hard to care about the death of some nasty colonial stuffed shirt.
Looking forward to the rest of this trilogy. Excellent historical crime novel set in India after WW1. What was so good was the view of the Raj from an Indian point of view. Well balanced but enough to keep one thinking of the politics and history on top of a well constructed crime story. As good as David Downing , Peter May or William Ryan at their best.
Ripping good yarn!!
No I haven't, but this was exceptional - I admired his ability to clearly prtray characters who are male or female, English, Irish, Scottish and Indian - upper and lower classes. Brilliantly done.
I can't wait for Sam's next case...
I enjoy mainly Crime and thrillers books, but am delighted when I sometimes stumble across other well written books.
I heard the author interviewed on the radio and thought the book sounded interesting. I am so glad that I made the decision to try this book. Such atmosphere a gripping story well told.
I think the title refers as much to the author as the central character.
I came across this via an Ian Rankin recommendation, and I guess, like most of us, that we are searching for the next thing to get excited about. Where do you go when you have run out of Rankin or Peter May?
As a debut, this is quite remarkable. The narration is too. A worthy investment of your time.
Happy, vegetarian, swimming, Spanish learning, walking, knitting, partnered man. Teacher and learner.
This was a great listen. Well written and fast moving....except for the heat of course. I felt as if I was in Calcutta, it was hot this week and so this added to the atmosphere. The Hougly river, Lalbazaar, now I want to visit India, although I probably never will. I really got excited about this story, the twists at the end, the fascinating interplay between the men. I liked it especially as it was written by a man with Indian ancestry, I wonder if this made a difference? I will never know. I am looking forward to following Surendrnot and Captain Wyndham to their next adventure. Jaldi jaldi as the good captain would say.
The novelist describes Calcutta life in the build up to the breakdown of life prior to independence. All nationalities, including Anglo-Indian are well integrated in the narrative.
The narrator was excellent with true Scottish and Irish accents which brought the characters to life. I would recommend this novel to any of my friends
"Raj Revisited in fast-paced police procedural"
Fantastic characters, meticulous research, and a wealth of characters make this a terrific listen. I cannot wait for the next one! Abir Mukherjee also weaves in a great sense of humor to keep one smiling while the suspense builds. One of my best audiobook purchases ever.
"Compelling mystery in a rich setting"
Set in colonial Calcutta just after WWI, this is a very fertile setting for a creditably woven mystery. I found the detective character a little conveniently stupid for plotting purposes, but engaging nonetheless. I wouldn't say the actual mystery itself is all that surprising, but the setting and characters - especially the secondary characters - make up for it. If you like detective fiction in interesting and fresh historical settings, you'll really enjoy this.
Good detective story, taking place in India during the period of the Raj. The narration was a pleasure.
"Don't Miss this Book and Performance"
I've been listening to one or two books a month for over a year and this book is the best of any of them. The story was fast paced and believable with enough twists to make it a great read. Simon Bubb is the best narrator I've heard so far. Can't wait for the next in the series.
"Superb narration enhances first rate story"
I enjoyed A Rising Man, with its perspective on British India in 1919. I was amazed to discover that only slightly more than 100,000 Britians were able to control a country of 300 million Indians. So much history to tell. And the author does it well. Though, for me, the story was slow at times when characters lectured our detective (and the reader) in order to convey that history. I would have preferred that Wyndam had spent a bit more time in the street experiencing India. Hence my 4 stars for the story. I find that first person narratives are often a bit detached from the setting. I would recommend the book, however. The first person narrative issue is a personal one and shouldn't detract from an excellent book.
"Your Basic Murder Mystery, Fascinating Setting"
I really enjoyed this book. It would make a really good PBS mini-series. It's your basic murder mystery, but the time and place, and supporting characters is what makes this story shine. I do hope that Mr. Mukherjee writes another Wyndam/Banerjee book. It's nice to read a story about colonial India where the Indians are the true heroes.
"A wonderful new author and series"
The depth of characters and history.
Many twists and turns. So very well written.
I can't wait for the next book to be written.
Loved the setting, both time and place. The characters were so believable and the tale intriguing.
"Murder and the British Raj"
Sam Wyndham, veteran of WWI and former inspector with Scotland Yard, has been persuaded to move to Calcutta and work with the police there. He is still trying to find is footing in this strange new country when a white high-placed government employee is found murdered outside an Indian whorehouse.
This would have been an excellent mystery anyway, but I believe it is even more so because the author is a Brit from an Indian heritage who is able to give the reader insight into thinking and attitudes of both the British Raj and the Indians.
Simon Bubb is now of of my favorite readers, able to both distinguish the characters, and accurately handle multiple accents.
I ordered this book on basis of a review that said this "was the best book he ever listened to." I was prompted to stop others from wasting their money. Book was tedious.
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