About the book: “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 British 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, who can barely conceal his contempt for the natives and British-educated, but Indian-born Sargeant 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.“
I loved audiobook, the first in an historical crime fiction series set in 1919 Calcutta.
As the above synopsis says, Sam Wyndham is very new to India and has only just arrived when he has a murder case. It looks like a political murder, as the body is of a British civil servant with a note stuffed in his mouth demanding the British quit India.
Talk about being thrown in at the deep end! Fortunately Sam has the brilliant local policeman, Sargeant Banerjee, at his side to help him manoeuvre around the situation, although Sam doesn’t give him much credit for his help. There’s also Digby another English policeman who’s been in India for a few years and so looks down on anyone who isn’t white like him. He’s a snob and a racist with a massive chip on his shoulder. I was horrified with the way the British treated the Indians, the superiority and entitlement was disgusting!
This was a really good mystery with lots of twists, red herrings, and suspicious characters. I loved every minute of it. I thought I knew where the plot was going, but then there was a change of direction and I was flummoxed. I had my suspicions about the murder from the beginning, but kept changing my mind about whodunnit!
The descriptions of Calcutta were so clear that I felt like I was there walking along with Sam and Banerjee. I liked both of them and think they made a great team. There were some very amusing lines throughout the story, that me smile and laugh out loud on more than one occasion.
Simon Bubb’s narration was fantastic! I loved all the different characters he portrayed, but particularly enjoyed his Scottish and Irish accents and the way he portrayed Sam and Banerjee. He’s definitely a new favourite narrator!
I loved this audiobook so much that I bought some extra audible credits and got the next 3 in the series. I’ve already listened to the next book, A Necessary Evil. I definitely recommend this story on audiobook, especially if you enjoy historical crime fiction.