"The Strangler Vine is fresh and original with many surprises in store...Avery is the guileless Watson of the partnership, and Blake the opaque Sherlock ...it is a relief to know that the two will be reunited in a sequel". (Evening Standard). Calcutta 1837. The East India Company rules India - or most of it; and its most notorious and celebrated son, Xavier Mountstuart, has gone missing. William Avery, a down-at-heel junior officer in the Company's army, is sent to find him, in the unlikely company of the enigmatic and uncouth Jeremiah Blake. A more mismatched duo couldn't be imagined, but they must bury their differences as they are caught up in a search that turns up too many unanswered questions and seems bound to end in failure. What was it that so captivated Mountstuart about the Thugs, the murderous sect of Kali-worshippers who strangle innocent travellers by the roadside? Who is Jeremiah Blake and can he be trusted? And why is the whole enterprise shrouded in such secrecy? "Intelligent, extensively researched and packed with period detail, The Strangler Vine evokes both the attitudes of the British colonials and the India of the period ...with its ingredients including murder, gambling, opium wars and crime, it's an imaginative read". (Metro). "M. J. Carter has cooked up a spicy dish: a pinch of Moonstone, a dash of Sherlock and a soupcon of Fu Manchu added to a rich stew of John Masters. A splendid romp and just the job for a cold winter's evening in front of a blazing fire". (William Dalrymple).
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