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A Necessary Evil: A Novel Hardcover – April 3, 2018
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“The novel has a great sense of time and place (be prepared to mop sweat off your brow from the heat!), a fascinating mystery, and an intriguing ending. Definitely recommended!”
- Historical Novels Review (Editor's Choice)
“This atmospheric sequel to A Rising Man establishes a strong sense of place by showcasing in rich detail the life of a wealthy maharaja with his wives, concubines, and hundreds of children. Mukherjee further develops his brooding, introspective, and flawed lead protagonist, who relies on his partner’s in-depth knowledge of Indian culture and traditions. Fans of the author’s acclaimed debut, Sujata Massey’s The Widows of Malabar Hill, and mysteries dependent on international locations and history will appreciate this crime novel.””
- Library Journal (starred)
“Impressive. This successful evocation of the Raj in the service of a brilliant whodunit demonstrates that Mukherjee’s debut was no fluke.”
- Publishers Weekly (Starred)
“Brilliant. Wyndam is an intriguing protagonist, offering crisp narration that’s sometimes slightly arrogant, sometimes amusingly self-effacing. Add in clever dialogue that’s laden with double entendre, and what more can a hardcore whodunit fan ask for?”
- Bookpage (Top Pick in Mystery)
“A lip-smacking and highly entertaining mystery, set in a Calcutta so convincingly evoked that readers will find sweat bursting from their foreheads.”
- The Daily Telegraph [Praise for A Rising Man]
“An exceptionally good, and original, historical crime novel.”
- C.J. Sansom [Praise for A Rising Man]
“This stirring, entertaining first mystery bursts with lively, colorful historical details about colonial Calcutta. A fine start to a new crime series.”
- Library Journal (starred Debut of the Month) [Praise for A Rising Man]
About the Author
Abir Mukherjee is the winner of the 2017 CWA Historical Dagger Award for A Rising Man, which was also shortlisted for the Edgar Award. A Necessary Evil, the second novel in Captain Sam Wyndham and “Surrender-Not” Banerjee mystery series, is also available from Pegasus Crime. He lives in London.
Top customer reviews
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Here, in the second novel featuring Sam and Sergeant Banerjee, the two are in the company of an Indian prince when he is assassinated. Prince Adhi's distant kingdom of Sambalpore is wildly rich in diamond mines -- and important strategically to Britain.
Sam and Surrender-not (what his colleagues call Banerjee because they can't pronounce his actual first name) get involved in the case, partly because Banerjee knew the prince at school in England, partly because Sam is upset that he could not save the prince.
Their unofficial investigation in Sambalpore exposes them to the exotic theology of Hinduism and perilous intrigues of the palace. They witness elaborate funerals and sickening executions. They find a way to interview wives and concubines secluded in the zenana. They attend social events in the company of bejeweled royals. The author's descriptions of the court with its sumptuous decor, English nannies, Italian chauffeurs and French cook are amusing. Even the elephants in Sambalpore are lavishly outfitted.
Sam's opium addition gives him a Holmes-like character flaw. He also nurses a hopeless passion for a beautiful Anglo-Indian woman. He's a complex character with a quirky sense of humor. His affectionate teasing of the diffident Sergeant Banerjee is especially fun.
Abir Mukherjee's novels feel well researched to me. He brings colonial India to life. And he gives us an absorbing police procedural. I've read both the books in this series with great enjoyment -- and look forward to the next.
Most recent customer reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book and I was...Read more