A Rising Man

Written by Abir Mukherjee
Review by Mike Ashworth

Calcutta in 1919: Captain Sam Wyndham, a former Scotland Yard detective, has arrived in Calcutta to head up a new post in the police force. Tormented by his experiences in the Great War, Wyndham finds himself catapulted into the murder of a senior official in the administration. Political dissent is rising, and the stability of the Raj is threatened. Is the murder a political statement, or something darker? Wyndham and his two new colleagues, Inspector Digby and Sergeant Bannerjee, find their investigation takes them from dingy opium dens to the height of society.

I am not the biggest fan of crime novels, but I found myself quickly drawn into this tale of murder and political intrigue. The main characters are all effectively drawn, realistic, and believable. The plot is strong, while the novel is well written and effectively portrays the culture of British India at a time of great turmoil and social change where the British hierarchy is struggling to maintain its privileged lifestyle in the face of growing Indian demands for equality. Thoroughly enjoyable. You don’t have to be a crime fan to enjoy this excellent book. I predict a bright future for Captain Sam Wyndham. More please!