A Rising Man

A Rising Man

Book - 2016
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Selected as a Book of the Year 2016 in the Daily Telegraph

The winner of the Harvill Secker/ Daily Telegraph crime writing competition

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 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 and British-educated, but Indian-born Sergeant 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.

Publisher: London, Harvill Secker,, 2016.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781910701898
Characteristics: 386 pages : maps ; 24 cm.

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detectivereader Aug 30, 2017

The first in a new series of murder mysteries set in the final decades of the British Raj in India (this book is set in 1919). Captain Sam Wyndham, feeling a sense of loss from his war experiences and the death of his wife, takes a position with the Imperial Police Force in India as something of a fresh start. As soon as he arrives however he finds himself investigating a murder with enormous political implications while trying to get accustomed to a world that is quite foreign to him.

The historical setting is quite vividly brought to life and gives some sense of the growing political turbulence of the era while the mystery is intriguing and at times almost plays out as a thriller, both in terms of its stakes and pacing. As for the characterization, both Wyndham and "Surrender-Not" Banerjee are striking and complex creations and it is clear that each will have room to grow as the series continues.

s
startingover
Aug 22, 2017

A refreshing new series. The historical, political and racial issues provide an excellent backdrop to the suspense and action. Look forward to the sequel with hope that the standard will be maintained.

p
peg_1
Jul 15, 2017

Loved the beginning of this book and it's sense of place and politics, but after 135 pages
It seemed to get stuck. Tired of hearing about the heat and the plot seemed to stall. Returned it.

s
Suecue
Sep 21, 2016

A wonderful debut novel that works on many levels. A fine police procedural, well written, with great characters. What makes it particularly engaging is the time and place, i.e. Calcutta right after the end of the Great War. Terrorism and the struggle for independence from colonial shackles are nothing new. Lots of secrets, lots of vested interests at play here. Bravo!

KateHillier Sep 16, 2016

I usually don't read detective fiction like this. Maybe a one off mystery or so but it's rare that I feel invested enough to go through the often formulaic "english policeman" genre.

Apparently all it takes is for it be a bit self aware of itself and to be moved to India. And to actually engage with its own time period. There be racism and colonialism abound but it is not sugarcoated or unexamined.

Sam Wyndham is a Great War veteran, an ex-Scotland Yard officer, and a widower. He takes a job working as a a policeman in Calcutta and on his first day there is, of course, a rather prominent murder.

There is a great deal of politics going on her. Racial (one of Sam's sergeants is Banderjee, whose first name no one has bothered to properly learn), interdepartmental, and a whole lot of cloak and dagger between different people in different industries. It's a really rich world and it's not something I've seen done before.

It was a really spellbinding read and I hope there's going to be another one.

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