#SmokeAndAshes #NetGalley

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smoke

Abir Mukerjee

Pegasus Books

March 5, 2019

NetGalley Description:

“India, 1921. Haunted by his memories of World War I, Captain Sam Wyndham is battling a serious addiction to opium that he must keep secret from his superiors in the Calcutta police force. When Sam is summoned to investigate a grisly murder, he is stunned at the sight of the body: he’s seen this before. Last night, in a drug addled haze, he stumbled across a corpse with the same ritualistic injuries. It seems like there’s a deranged killer on the loose. Unfortunately for Sam, the corpse was in an opium den—and revealing his presence there could cost him his career. With the aid of his quick-witted Indian Sergeant, Surrender-Not Banerjee, Sam must try to solve the two murders, all the while keeping his personal demons secret, before somebody else turns up dead.”

Review:

This is the third in the series set in 1920s India, but the novel easily stands alone. I will read the first two books, that’s for sure! Well-written and intricately plotted against the backdrop of Calcutta, this was a very interesting read.

Sam Wyndham, veteran of WWI, is a police detective in the days of the British Raj, but a change is coming. During a raid on an opium den (Sam is not part of the raid, but a partaker) Sam discovers a dead man with odd injuries. Two more seemingly unrelated bodies turn up with the same ritualistic markings and Sam and his partner Surrender-Not struggle to put the pieces together. Meanwhile, Ghandi has inspired his people to peaceful protests against British rule, namely Surrender-Not’s uncle and aunt, who have become leaders in the resistance. The past and present, the social turmoil of the age, begin to play a part in the investigation and for me, this was when the story really got fascinating and hard to put down. Sam is a great character, fighting his memories as a soldier, his subsequent addiction to opium, and against the rules that sometimes bind him as a police detective. Far from perfect, but determined.

Thank you NetGalley and Pegasus Books!

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