A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee

Writing: 4/5 Characters: 4/5 Plot: 4/5

A new mystery series for me! Post WWI, Scotland Yard’s Captain Sam Wyndham finds himself in Calcutta, heading up a new post in the police force. A senior British official has been found dead in an unsavory part of town, and he is immediately plunged into the nexus of politics, policing, and racial tensions that are near the breaking point.

In this first person narrative, Sam is a remarkably self aware Englishman who is constantly noting the inequities that constitute the British Empire in India. He works to tease apart the agendas, morals, and corruption of those around him with the aid of the bitter Digby — ten years in the Imperial Police Force and passed over for promotion — and the Indian sergeant Surindher Bannerjee known as “Surrender-not” by the English speaking officers who can’t manage his name.

Lots of interesting history, wry humor, and individual philosophy. I was particularly interested in the depiction of the different cultures within India — most specifically the Bengali personality within Calcutta. Very engaging.

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