London-based, Glasgow-born, Calcutta-inspired Abir Mukherjee’s A Rising Man is the first in what should be a promising series featuring detective Sam Wyndham from the early 20th Century. The detective arrives in Calcutta in 1919, embittered, weary and cynical, and finds himself embroiled in a murder mystery where the killer can still surprise the investigator.
But what adds atmosphere is that all this is taking place as Indians have embarked on their freedom movement. And representing the dilemma is sergeant Surendranath (“Surrender-Not”) Banerjee – a delicious nod to the real-life politician Surendranath (“Surrender-Not”) Banerjea – who is torn between anger against the Imperialists and his faith in law and order.
History meets crime, and yes, it’s a fast and furious thriller, and gets quite hot and dirty too, even if not in the way you think.
Published in 2016.