In the days of the Raj, a newly arrived Scotland Yard detective is confronted with the murder of a British official—in his mouth a note warning the British to leave India, or else . . .
Calcutta, 1919. 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. He is immediately overwhelmed by the heady vibrancy of the tropical city, but with barely a moment to acclimatize or to deal with the ghosts that still haunt him, Wyndham is caught up in a murder investigation that threatens to destabilize a city already teetering on the brink of political insurgency.
The body of a senior official has been found in a filthy sewer, and a note left in his mouth warns the British to quit India, or else. Under tremendous pressure to solve the case before it erupts into increased violence on the streets, Wyndham and his two new colleagues—arrogant Inspector Digby and Sergeant Banerjee, one of the few Indians to be recruited into the new CID—embark on an investigation that will take them from the opulent mansions of wealthy British traders to the seedy opium dens of the city.
Masterfully evincing the sights, sounds, and smells of colonial Calcutta, A Rising Man is the start of an enticing new historical crime series.
British author Mukherjee's outstanding debut and series launch combines a cleverly constructed whodunit with an unusual locale Calcutta in 1919 portrayed with convincing detail. Capt. Sam Wyndham, a former Scotland Yard detective, has arrived in the Indian city wounded in spirit from the loss of his wife to the influenza epidemic and addicted to morphine after surviving the trenches of the Western Front. His experience lands him a position with the British Imperial Police Force in Bengal, and he soon receives a sensitive murder inquiry. Alexander MacAuley, a top aide to the lieutenant governor, has been found in an alley with his throat slit, some fingers cut off, and a bloodstained scrap of paper placed in his mouth on which is written: "English blood will run in the streets." That warning indicates that Indian terrorists opposed to continuation of the Raj were responsible, but Wyndham finds the truth more complicated. The nuanced relationship between Wyndham and his Indian assistant, a sergeant known as Surrender-not Banerjee because the English can't pronounce his first name correctly, adds even more depth.
Full of detail, recommend, enjoyable protagonist
Can tell the author put a lot of research in. Lots of interesting different perspectives on Calcutta and the British rule of that time. No black and white issues but even tho protagonist is pretty dark grey can’t help but root for him, especially because his wry asides are charming. Hoping to learn more about “Surrender-Not” in the next book
Worth the money, enjoyable read
I’m giving only three stars because of all the misspellings and punctuation errors. Nevertheless a good, enjoyable read
The digital editing is awful. Words dropped. Apostrophes missing. I can’t enjoy reading for mentally correcting the mistakes.