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Sent to a remote part of India to find out who could benefit from Judge Asif's death, Ghote can get no cooperation from the judge until it becomes evident that the anonymous threats are coming from someone in the judge's household.
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- Gail N.
Repetitive, non-sensical, intolerable
Rarely have I disliked a book so much. Generally, I return the book before it gets to this stage. The passive, self-effacing Inspector Ghote is an insult to detectives everywhere. The arrogant, self-satisfied, and intransigent retired judge, hide bound and committed to the class system, who has no hesitation to constantly insult and criticize his servant is completely unappealing and evinces no sympathy for the bomb plot against him. Why the dim bulb Inspector does not immediately confront the judge with the possibility that others will likely be injured should the bomber succeed is the real mystery. The conservative tilt and sympathies of the author are everywhere apparent. H.R.F. Keating is no native of India but instead a member of the British bourgeoisie whose obvious class consciousness and sense of property rights over the rights of the native residents of the land the British invaded and colonized is the most conspicuous part of the novel. Indeed, Keating did not even visit India until 10 years after the first Inspector Ghote novel. The narrator does a fine job on the voices of all the Indian characters but his American accent is cringeworthy. And the annoying noises he makes to sound like the fan in Ghote's room, presumably intended to inject some humor to this dull tale, only served to set my teeth on edge. The story seems to meander endlessly over the same inconsequential details, over and over. I finally finished the story at 2x speed only to find I had solved it from the outset. This will be my last Keating listen. Be forewarned.