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4.6 out of 5
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  • Lots of twist and turns

    “It’s not unusual to find a corpse in a funeral parlour it’s just rare for them to walk in the door under their own steam. It was a riddle worth savouring , but I didn’t have the time, seeing as I was running for my life” ………. These are the opening lines of Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee, who could not resist reading more! I certainly was captured and drawn in straight away. This book is set in Calcutta in December 1921, written in the first person of Captain Sam Wyndham who is working for The Imperial Police Force. Abir Mukherjee’s description of the time and place is so detailed I was instantly transported into another world of sights and smells. Captain Sam Wyndham describes that he’s far from perfect but is determined to solve the murders going above and beyond to get justice. The other main character is Sam’s sergeant Surrender-not Banerjee an Indian working in the Imperial Police Force who had sacrificed his family to work in the force. The book held my attention from the first line to the last sentence, the author describes the country and settings in great detail that it’s not hard to imagine Calcutta in 1921 a time in the history of changes when the Indians were peacefully protesting about British rule. A different and intriguing plot, excellent descriptive use of language and great knowledge of life and times in 1921 particularly of the military role as well as the Imperial Police force. I certainly enjoyed all the twist and turns this book had to offer, the characters and ways of Captain Sam his use of opium, the opium dens and Surrender-not the sergeant a good man who was always trying to keep Sam on the straight and narrow did make me compare them to Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson! I will definitely be recommending reading Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee to my friends and family. It is an excellent murder mystery and I look forward to more from this author.

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  • Historical thriller

    An authentic (and not entirely flattering) sidelight into the history of the British in India. A believable plot and characters to care about.

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