Death in the East (Sam Wyndham)

Written by Abir Mukherjee
Review by Chiara Prezzavento

In early 1922, Captain Wyndham of the Imperial Police is on his way to a Hindu monastery in the Assamese hills, for a last-ditch attempt at overcoming his crippling opium addiction. When he spots a man in a crowded station – a dangerous man who should be long dead – he would rather blame it on some opium-induced hallucination, and almost manages to do so once at the monastery. Almost. Then another patient is found dead in dubious circumstances, and the hallucination proves to be only too real… Summoning from Calcutta his trusty sidekick, Sergeant Banerjee, Wyndham begins to investigate.

This is another very enjoyable instalment in a fine series, skillfully hopscotching between the seedier streets of London in 1905 and 1922 India, to weave two mysteries into one – while Wyndham and his earnest native sergeant navigate their growing friendship and the strife between their peoples. Clever, entertaining, and thought-provoking.