For lovers of Sherlock, Shardlake and Ripper Street. A gripping and pulse-racing mystery thriller with a great detective double act.
'Splendid, enthralling, an exotic mystery that captivated me.' Bernard Cornwell
Calcutta 1837. Young officer William Avery is tasked by his employers-the East India Company-with tracking down disgraced poet and spy Xavier Mountstuart, lost in the jungles of central India. Accompanied by the dissolute and mysterious Jeremiah Blake, Avery is sure the mission is doomed.
When their search leads them into Kali-worshipping Thug territory, the pair are soon fighting for their lives, but impelled to solve the horrifying mystery behind their mission. With death and danger on every side, is it too late for them to save themselves?
Shortlisted for the John Creasey New Blood Dagger for Best Debut Crime novel of the year 2014, and the HWA Debut Crown for Best Historical Novel 2015, Longlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year 2015 and the Bailey's Woman's Prize for Fiction 2014
Colonial India in 1837 comes alive in Carter's superior fiction debut. Col. Patrick Buchanan, the chief military secretary of the Honorable East India Company in Calcutta, directs a former company officer, the Sherlock Holmes like Jeremiah Blake, to search for Xavier Mountstuart, the author of popular romance fiction rumored to be based on fact, who disappeared after visiting the headquarters of the company's thuggee department. The officer who runs this department is determined to rid the country of the threat from the murderous thuggee gangs. William Avery, a callow young company officer, is to accompany Blake. Buchanan warns Avery that while success will gain him whatever posting he desires, failure will doom him to end his days in the "most remote malarial hole in Bengal." The quest takes some surprising turns, and Carter (Anthony Blunt: His Lives) is masterly at keeping the reader guessing what's really going on. The final revelation is both jaw-dropping and plausible.