A Necessary Evil

by Abir Mukherjee

Saturday, April 28, 2018

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Second in a series. I read it before the first one. Set in 1920s colonial Indian. Given that the author’s name is Indian I was surprised at first to find the central character is a white British policeman who has headed out to India (which sounds awful when I write it down, after all, I probably wouldn’t have been surprised if I’d opened up a book to find a white author writing an Indian character.) Anyway, I liked Sam Wyndham and I didn’t have any problem getting to know him and his reasons for being in India despite skipping the first book. This story is about the death of a prince and there’s no shortage of non-white characters, including Sam’s sergeant in the Calcutta police.

I’ve since read the first book and my memory has rather merged the two stories together for me so I don’t want to say things that might be about the wrong book. I enjoyed the investigations in both the books but both times had difficulty being very concerned about justice for the victims as neither book really brought them to life. Other characters did come to life though and I’ll probably read some more in the future as I found these an interesting beginning.