Smoke and Ashes

Smoke and Ashes

Abir Mukherjee / Aug 21, 2019

Smoke and Ashes Captain Sam Wyndham and his sidekick Surrender Not Banerjee return in this prize winning historical crime series set in s Calcutta India Haunted by his memories of World War I Captain Sam W

  • Title: Smoke and Ashes
  • Author: Abir Mukherjee
  • ISBN: Smoke and Ashes
  • ISBN
  • Page: 100
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Captain Sam Wyndham and his sidekick Surrender Not Banerjee return in this prize winning historical crime series set in 1920s Calcutta.India, 1921 Haunted by his memories of World War I, Captain Sam Wyndham is battling a serious addiction to opium that he must keep secret from his superiors in the Calcutta police force.When Sam is summoned to investigate a grisly murder, Captain Sam Wyndham and his sidekick Surrender Not Banerjee return in this prize winning historical crime series set in 1920s Calcutta.India, 1921 Haunted by his memories of World War I, Captain Sam Wyndham is battling a serious addiction to opium that he must keep secret from his superiors in the Calcutta police force.When Sam is summoned to investigate a grisly murder, he is stunned at the sight of the body he s seen this before Last night, in a drug addled haze, he stumbled across a corpse with the same ritualistic injuries It seems like there s a deranged killer on the loose Unfortunately for Sam, the corpse was in an opium den and revealing his presence there could cost him his career.With the aid of his quick witted Indian Sergeant, Surrender Not Banerjee, Sam must try to solve the two murders, all the while keeping his personal demons secret, before somebody else turns up dead Get A Copy Kindle Store StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksApple BooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Hardcover, 352 pages Expected publication March 5th 2019 by Pegasus Books first published June 7th 2018 More Details Original Title Smoke and Ashes ISBN 1643130145 ISBN13 9781643130149 Series Sam Wyndham 3 Characters Sam Wyndham, Sergeant Surrender Not Banerjee setting Calcutta, 1921 India India, 1921 Other Editions 1 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Win a Copy of This Book Smoke and Ashes Sam Wyndham, 3 by Abir Mukherjee Author Release date Mar 05, 2019 SMOKE AND ASHES is Abir Mukherjee s best book yet a brilliantly conceived murder mystery set amidst political and social turmoil Beautifully crafte SMOKE AND ASHES is Abir Mukherjee s best book yet a brilliantly conceived murder mystery set amidst political and social turmoil Beautifully crafted C J Sansom, New York Times bestselling authorEnter now for your chance to win a copy of SMOKE AND ASHES, the third novel in the prize winning historical crime series following Captain Sam Wyndham and Surrender Not Banerjee through 1920s Calcutta Enter Giveaway Format Print book

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    Giveaway dates Jan 12 Feb 11, 2019

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    Lists with This Book This book is not yet featured on Listopia Add this book to your favorite list Community Reviews Showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter Jul 07, 2018 Annet rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves india, crime, history, dark, asia, favorites What a fabulous, great series this is I m totally hooked, can t wait for the 4th book Understand it s in preparation More to follow but already Absolutely Highly Recommended This is a series about Captain Sam Wyndham, working at the Calcutta police force, fighting his personal battles and a serious opium addiction His sidekick is Indian sergeant Surrender not Banerjee, who got this name as his original name is hard to pronounce The series is three books so far and is full of What a fabulous, great series this is I m totally hooked, can t wait for the 4th book Understand it s in preparation More to follow but already Absolutely Highly Recommended This is a series about Captain Sam Wyndham, working at the Calcutta police force, fighting his personal battles and a serious opium addiction His sidekick is Indian sergeant Surrender not Banerjee, who got this name as his original name is hard to pronounce The series is three books so far and is full of atmosphere and great storylines Next to great storytelling the descriptions of Calcutta and the historic background are really interesting Set against the backdrop of the fervent fight for Indian independence in 1920 s Calcutta, Smoke and Ashes is the brilliant historical mystery in this award winning series flag 94 likesLike see review View all 10 comments Sep 30, 2018 Paromjit rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves historical fiction, mystery, thriller This is the third in the Captain Sam Wyndham series set in December 1921 in the run up to Christmas where there is little cheer for the British and the Raj in India The British strategies to contain the mass movement for independence are failing, Mahatma Gandhi has managed to bring on board the ordinary Indians to protest in non violent protests across the country To their further dismay, Gandhi has co opted the Muslims in the struggle, destroying the usual British plans to divide and rule in This is the third in the Captain Sam Wyndham series set in December 1921 in the run up to Christmas where there is little cheer for the British and the Raj in India The British strategies to contain the mass movement for independence are failing, Mahatma Gandhi has managed to bring on board the ordinary Indians to protest in non violent protests across the country To their further dismay, Gandhi has co opted the Muslims in the struggle, destroying the usual British plans to divide and rule in India, the British are being outsmarted at every turn and they are not handling this well Britain cannot rule without the natives in key positions in the police, railways and other important sectors, their power is being weakened with the mass resignations that have arisen after being called for by independence leaders, putting further pressure on the Raj The moving of the seat of power from Calcutta to Delhi has not prevented the continuing uprisings in Bengal Wyndham is disconcerted and unhappy with the rise of the new revolutionaries and pacifists who treat the Brits with courtesy and insist on engaging in a moral debate, he much prefers the old fashioned terrorist However, he knows in his bones that The Raj was a sick man at death s door and all we were doing was delaying the inevitable The only question was how long it would take us to realise that and call it a day Wyndham s only close friend, the able Sergeant Surrender Not is feeling the heat as a serving native officer in the Imperial Police Force He is put in an impossible position with his family s support and involvement in the ongoing protests against the British Wyndham has succumbed to his personal demons as he becomes a slave to his opium addiction He is at an opium den at Tangra s Chinatown, in a drug addled fug when the place is raided at night He stumbles over the murdered corpse of a Chinese man as he escapes onto the rooftops He tells no one of this, his addiction will end his career and he is left confused as to what he actually saw However, he is called to investigate the murder of a nurse, Ruth Fernandes in Rishra and it has the same MO as the murdered man However, H section, military intelligence headed by Major Dawson, the spymaster, insists on taking over the investigation As further murders occur, Wyndham and Sergeant Surrender Not look for connections between the victims amidst the nightmare of the heightened security fears of the upcoming Royal visit by Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales, which for diplomatic and political reasons has to go ahead irrespective of the desperately overwhelming real dangers smouldering in the incendiary powder keg that is Calcutta.Mukherjee provides rich descriptions with his usual attention to details of the period and his research of the period is impeccable However, he does take some liberties with events for the purposes of his storytelling The deplorable Rawalpindi events for which the British Military were responsible for actually took place in the 1930s in the Punjab, not during WW1 as posited in this novel Sam Wyndam is a compelling flawed character, unrelenting in his pursuit of the truth, dependent on his intelligent Sergeant Surrender Not, still grieving for his dead wife, and at the mercy of the excruciating horrors and trauma of his addiction There is some truth in Annie Grant s perception of him as approaching life as a penance to atone for the sins of a past life This is a brilliant addition to this stunning historical series which deserves to be read widely This is a must read for those who love well written and gripping historical fiction and those interested in the India of this time period with all its political turmoil Highly recommended flag 70 likesLike see review View all 10 comments Apr 21, 2018 William rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves extraordinary books FIVE STARS AGAIN Extraordinary, assured, delightful, fascinating, enlightening, and my favourite the Detective as Philosopher A masterpiece, Abir Truly wonderful Thank you for the advanced reader copy.A truly fabulous evening with masters Robert Crais, Joseph Knox and Abir Mukherjee at Waterstones in Staines Full size image As usual with my reviews, please first read the publisher s blurb summary of the book Thank you. Two and a half years since A Rising Man , as this book opens, we fin FIVE STARS AGAIN Extraordinary, assured, delightful, fascinating, enlightening, and my favourite the Detective as Philosopher A masterpiece, Abir Truly wonderful Thank you for the advanced reader copy.A truly fabulous evening with masters Robert Crais, Joseph Knox and Abir Mukherjee at Waterstones in Staines Full size image As usual with my reviews, please first read the publisher s blurb summary of the book Thank you. Two and a half years since A Rising Man , as this book opens, we find our hero struggling with his serious opium addiction, and then being roused from his drug slumber to stumble upon a slaughtered corpse, and then trying to race away across the roofs of Calcutta, being chased and shot at by the police Kukri Knife, the murder weapon And from there on, the pace never lets up, the mystery deepens, the clues come true but jumbled, and we struggle along with Sam to do his duty as his personal life sinks into a swamp.Surrender Not Surendranath Bannerjee is ever resourceful He and Sam are truly bonded as a team, and as friends Since only Sam knows about the corpse above the opium den, he cannot pursue this murder openly Luckily there s another similar murder and he and Bannerjee, and Taggert and the brutal Military Intelligence Department H are hot on the trail, often at cross purposes.All of this wonderful action and mystery is set during the 1920s Independence uprisings and protests, beautifully woven into the fabric of the thriller.The clues pile up, we solve the mystery slowly along with Sam and Bannerjee, the action is intense and real, the dialogue sharp and fascinating, the culture and history amazing, and just a touch of romance to make Sam s heart ache.Notes and Quotes How I imagine young Annie The beautiful Annie has a break in at her house and calls Sam After investigating and seeing Sam s concern, Mukherjee again star crosses the beautiful friends Sad words, Annie to Sam now struggling nightly with his growing opium addiction I ll be fine, Sam, she said It sounded like she meant it l wasjust a bit shaken by everything I shouldn t have troubled you I could come back later, I said, and stay over if you re concerned The words were out of my mouth before I even realised.She gave a mirthless laugh Would that be all night, Sam, orjust till two in the morning Opium smoking kit Sam aches for Sarah still, and considers his thwarted love for Annie My wife Sarah died four years ago, and like a man scared of his own shadow, I d spent every Christmas since running away, first into a bottle, and then to Calcutta because looking back at the past was like picking at the scab of an unhealed wound.If there had been joy in my life since then, it had come from Annie Grant The irony was that, while I ran from my memories, my inability to move forward to consign my time with Sarah to the past had probably crushed any prospect of a future with Annie.There is one thing Sam and Annie know He loved her before she was rich.The exceptional Sikh soldiers, so far from their homes We alighted as a detachment of Sikhs in olive green uniforms and turbans marched past in time to oaths shouted by their sergeant It was hardly a surprise to find these men from the Punjab here, a thousand miles from their homeland The regiments billeted here tended to be from far away Jats, Pathans and the like It was a well known fact that native troops were willing to do our bidding when they were far from homeThe bending of rules Both independence protesters and Raj soldiers were weirdly bound by the rules of the curfew The fact that the demonstration itself was illegal had been conveniently overlooked by all concerned As usual, the whole thing felt like a game where both parties agreed which rules applied and which could be discounted Rules, after all, were important You couldn t play the game without them, and fortunately the Indians seemed to love rules as much as we did How else could you explain both races love of cricket, a game so insipid and with rules so arcane that it took five full days to play it properly and which even then, often than not, ended in adraw Indeed, at times it felt like the whole non violent struggle was just some long drawn out Test matchHispano Suiza 1924, Annie s handsome and rich new beau, Schmidt, owns one of these Sam struggles to maintain calm in the face of Annie s new suitor, the handsome and very rich tea baron, Stephen Schmidt The door opened and in walked Annie She wore a blue silk dress and an ornate diamond studded silver necklace hunger from her neck It looked like she was preparing to go out for the evening That s a good question , she said, How long do you plan on staying, Stephen For the foreseeable, he smiled Sam worries That was rather longer than I d been hoping Annie looked from him to me I see you re both getting along Absolutely, said Schmidt Like a church on fire, I said.Sam remembers his dead wife Sarah and how he ended up in Calcutta after WW 1 He didn t know Sarah was dead until months later Rather I was in hospital myself, pumped full of morphine and recuperating from war wounds which, if there truly was a God, would havekilled me Instead I d survived, continuing to live, when death, would have been preferable and justified Maybe Annie was right Maybe my penance was a life sentence It was Sarah s death that had driven me to Calcutta, and it was Annie s presence that made me stay And yet Sarah s memory still lived with me, and shamed me daily I hated to think of me now a whisky souses opium fiend Would she recognise any part of the man she d married The thought burned like a red hot needle in my templesHowrah Bridge, CalcuttaSam contemplates the absurdity of British rule in India It struck me that was the real problem To see a man as your enemy, you needed to hate him, and while it was easy to hate a man who fought you with bullets and bombs, it was bloody difficult hate a man who opposed you by appealing to your own moral compass And we British considered ourselves a moral people What else was the vaunted British sense of fair play but a manifestation of our morality the British and the Indians weren t that different, and the wayto beat us was to appeal to our better natures to make us comprehend the moral incongruity of our position in India.We could only control India through force of arms, but force was useless against a people who didn t fight back because you couldn t kill people like that without killing a part of yourself too.Actual History note from Abir Porton Down has, for over a hundred years, been the home of the UK Ministry of Defence s science and technology laboratory Their scientists, as they were later to do with British and Australian troops, DID carry out biological tests, including mustard gas experiments, on unsuspecting Indian troops, though these experiments took place mostly during the 1930s rather than during WW I The clandestine tests were carried out at a facility in the city of Rawalpindi, now in Pakistan Anyone interested in reading on the subject should track down a copy of at UK Gassed Behind the Scenes at Porton Downby the journalist Rob Evans flag 29 likesLike see review View all 8 comments Apr 16, 2018 Liz Barnsley rated it it was amazing review of another edition love this series.I m not a fan of historical crime for the most part that is to say it is not my go to genre but I made an exception once for A Rising Man and haven t looked back since When I read these novels it is always the characters that make me stay or go and Sam Wyndham is one of those that never fails to enthrall me Also Surrender not Enough said.Anyway, in Smoke and Ashes Sam discovers a body whilst, well, not exactly in a sensible state, the book opening with this discovery love this series.I m not a fan of historical crime for the most part that is to say it is not my go to genre but I made an exception once for A Rising Man and haven t looked back since When I read these novels it is always the characters that make me stay or go and Sam Wyndham is one of those that never fails to enthrall me Also Surrender not Enough said.Anyway, in Smoke and Ashes Sam discovers a body whilst, well, not exactly in a sensible state, the book opening with this discovery and a chase across the rooftops at that point I pretty much didn t put it down until I was done This is how they get me every time Sam is walking a very thin line in Smoke and Ashes and boy did I walk it with him all the way.The way this author has of setting you down in a completely different place and time is incredible the power of words on the page, in talented hands, to transport you away from your life, is a wonderful thing and Abir Mukherjee has that talent in spades Historically authentic, beautifully written and characters you root for even when they are not anywhere near perfect, all of that makes for an escapist, thought provoking read.As well as the current mystery, we have that brilliantly formed friendship between Sam and Surrender not, the delicate balance of his ongoing off kilter relationship with Annie and his battle with addiction it is pacy yet considered and absolutely riveting all the way through The characters are layered, the setting vivid, the backdrop of the British Raj and the fight for independence at the heart of it , all of that comes to vivid, wonderful life.Cracking dialogue, immersive scene setting, beautifully crafted I do think actually that Smoke and Ashes is the best yet No pressure for the next then.Highly Recommended flag 16 likesLike see review May 07, 2018 Annet marked it as to read review of another edition So looking forward to this one can t wait flag 12 likesLike see review Jun 26, 2018 Leah rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves 2018, crime, historical fiction Murder in the RajRoused from a drug addled stupor in an opium den in the backstreets of Calcutta, Sam Wyndham, Captain in the Calcutta police, discovers the place is being raided Discovery of his addiction will finish his career so he flees, only to stumble across the body of a horribly mutilated Chinaman Or did he Next day, when no report of the murder comes in, Sam is left wondering if he hallucinated the whole thing That is, until he is called out to another murder, where the body has Murder in the RajRoused from a drug addled stupor in an opium den in the backstreets of Calcutta, Sam Wyndham, Captain in the Calcutta police, discovers the place is being raided Discovery of his addiction will finish his career so he flees, only to stumble across the body of a horribly mutilated Chinaman Or did he Next day, when no report of the murder comes in, Sam is left wondering if he hallucinated the whole thing That is, until he is called out to another murder, where the body has been mutilated in exactly the same wayThis series goes from strength to strength with each new instalment I thoroughly enjoyed the previous two, but really think this one is the best yet Set in the early 1920s, the dying days of the Raj when the Indian Independence movement was well under way, Mukherjee always manages to work the political situation into his stories without allowing it to overwhelm them or feeling like a history lesson In this one, after months of Gandhi s non violent resistance movement, the city authorities are struggling to maintain order Many Indians have resigned from Government positions, leaving the police short staffed and with the extra problem that those Indians who have remained have divided loyalties Britain has decided to send the Prince of Wales, Prince Edward later briefly Edward VIII over to steady the nerves and rally the loyalty of the populace to the Empire, but Gandhi s local representative is planning a major demonstration to coincide with the Prince s visit.The murders look as if they may have something to do with the heightened political tensions, especially since Section H the secret service are involved But Sam is determined he won t be sidelined from the investigation, and along with his loyal Sergeant, Surrender not Banerjee, sets out to discover what links the victimsI love Mukherjee s depiction of Calcutta it always feels entirely authentic to me Mukherjee treats both sides with empathy although he shows the evils of some aspects of the Raj as a form of government, he depicts his British characters largely as good people trying to do their best in difficult circumstances, and he manages to do this without making them feel anachronistic in their attitudes Equally, while his sympathies might lie with the idea of independence, he doesn t portray the Indians as uniformly saintly either The Indian sergeant, Surrender not the nickname given to him by the Brits who can t pronounce his real name, Surendranath , provides a kind of bridge that allows the reader to move between the two cultures, as we see him negotiate his often clashing duties to his family and his job.The historical background too is always sound and Mukherjee brings real people into his stories in ways that feel accurate to their real lives In this one, as well as Prince Edward, we meet Deshbandhu, a leader of the Independence movement in Bengal, and his young follower Subhas Bose, who would go on to be a major, if controversial, player in the events that finally led to the achievement of Independence As always, though, the plot is founded much on human nature than on politics I feel this is his strongest plot so far, which unfortunately I can say very little about for fear of spoilers But it takes us into some dark episodes in the dealings between the Raj and their subjects Mukherjee s notes at the end show that, while he has fictionalised dates and people, the fundamental basis of the story comes from real events There s a good deal of moral ambiguity in there, and some excellently complex characterisation to carry it off And it all builds to a first rate, entirely credible thriller finale that I found fully satisfying I love the characters of Sam and Surrender not, and the historical setting Mukherjee has chosen for the series Top quality historical crime fiction highly recommended But if you re new to the series, do read them in order, starting with the excellent A Rising Man.NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Harvill Seckerctionfanblog.wordpress flag 7 likesLike see review Aug 26, 2018 Roy rated it it was amazing review of another edition Probably the best historical fiction detective series atm The dialogue is sharp, the setting so informative but with just enough detail The characters are amazing even after this 3rd novel Highly recommend this series flag 7 likesLike see review Nov 18, 2018 Chrisl rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves lilaoo, 2010s, hf asia, mys hf, india 4.44 Still don t like Surrender Not prefer Suren Much appreciate the setting, and also hope for next one soon won t wait so long to buy a copy from Britain ahead of US release flag 7 likesLike see review Jun 09, 2018 Raven rated it it was amazing review of another edition First there was A Rising Man and then A Necessary Evil and akin to the sound of an angelic host the very words, There s a new Abir Mukherjee book out now made my heart soar with an excitement rarely achieved, since I won a handwriting competition at the age of 10 on holiday on the Isle of Wight i.e very excited indeed And so we are catapulted back to the inglorious days of the Raj, and to be honest, it would unwise to even countenance the thought that our dynamic duo would be experiencing any First there was A Rising Man and then A Necessary Evil and akin to the sound of an angelic host the very words, There s a new Abir Mukherjee book out now made my heart soar with an excitement rarely achieved, since I won a handwriting competition at the age of 10 on holiday on the Isle of Wight i.e very excited indeed And so we are catapulted back to the inglorious days of the Raj, and to be honest, it would unwise to even countenance the thought that our dynamic duo would be experiencing anything like a straightforward investigation There is some serious trouble afoot It is so gratifying to reach the third book in a series and for it to feel as fresh and vibrant as the first two Partly, I would put this down to the developing working relationship, and growing friendship of our chalk and cheese partnership of Sam and Surrender not, and the sheer level of engagement Mukherjee creates with the reader in how he presents the social and political unrest of this turbulent period of Indian history With the former, I would say that each time we encounter these wonderful characters, there is always a little stretch of unchartered territory between them, little pieces of which Mukherjee brings to the narrative, giving us a different perspective of them as each investigation develops This book is no different with Sam s largely deniable opium habit leading to all manner of trouble, and becoming an increasingly large elephant in the room in his relationship with Surrender Not Equally, Surrender not s personal connection to some prominent political enemies of the Raj, reveals a whole new side to his character, and the very personal toll it has on him, trying to make his way in a career that puts him at odds with his family and fellow citizens Mukherjee captures perfectly their points of similarity, as much as their points of difference, and how at the crux of their working relationship, these points of separation or conflict actually lead them to be an extremely effective working partnership This unity of purpose becomes especially evident when pitted against other representatives of law, order and security, and some thorny encounters ensue, and, needless to say when violence comes a knocking you can guarantee Sam will be in the way Although, this investigation is markedly emotive and darker in tone than the previous books, there is still time for the badinage, and affectionate leg pulling that Mukherjee affords his detecting double act, as well as to those they encounter along the way, which is, as always, entertaining.With the war for Indian independence raging on, and the upcoming visit of the Prince of Wales, there is a tinderbox atmosphere in Calcutta, and Mukherjee completely immerses the reader in the stifling heat, social unrest, and the simmering violence that regularly explodes Peppered with figures in the fight for independence, and their differing attitudes in how to achieve this aim of liberation from suffocating British rule, the book positively throbs with suppressed and overt rebellion, from the average citizen on the street, to those who would keep order, to those who seek to overturn the status quo, and the increasingly less confident smug satisfaction of the British themselves All this tension and turbulence is delivered in a measured, informative and entertaining style, underscored by the sights and sounds of the city streets, and the building heat, both meteorological and political, sucking you in and ramping up the tension to the nth degree Brilliant.I think this just proves, if further proof were needed, that this is a remarkably good book in a remarkably good series, and I cannot find a bad word to say about it.Which is lovely.And why you should all seek out these books for yourselves.Which would be lovely too flag 7 likesLike see review Aug 26, 2018 K.J Charles added it review of another edition Shelves 1920s, detective This series gets markedly better with every book The author has always been brilliant at evoking the feel of the last years of the Raj and the 1920s Indian atmosphere, but the mystery plots are improving dramatically and really deeply rooted in the history, which makes them work terrifically Sam Wyndham is a great character, a decent and progressive Englishman of his time, yet so much unconscious racism and assumed cultural superiority revealed in his narrative The characters, the plots and This series gets markedly better with every book The author has always been brilliant at evoking the feel of the last years of the Raj and the 1920s Indian atmosphere, but the mystery plots are improving dramatically and really deeply rooted in the history, which makes them work terrifically Sam Wyndham is a great character, a decent and progressive Englishman of his time, yet so much unconscious racism and assumed cultural superiority revealed in his narrative The characters, the plots and the settings could all sustain a book on their own, there s so much here, so the combination makes for a really superior read Excellent stuff flag 5 likesLike see review Jun 07, 2018 Abby Slater Fairbrother rated it it was amazing review of another edition I am a huge fan of this series and If you haven t read A Rising Man or An Necessary Evil, then you need to add them to your wish list asap The series is phenomenal and historical crime fiction at its finest It was my 126th read of the year so far and the 13th edition to the 5 Genius list The era, characters and location that Abir Mukherjee has created within the series is sheer brilliance I am a shameless fangirl The series is set post ww1 in Calcutta, India The main characters are Britis I am a huge fan of this series and If you haven t read A Rising Man or An Necessary Evil, then you need to add them to your wish list asap The series is phenomenal and historical crime fiction at its finest It was my 126th read of the year so far and the 13th edition to the 5 Genius list The era, characters and location that Abir Mukherjee has created within the series is sheer brilliance I am a shameless fangirl The series is set post ww1 in Calcutta, India The main characters are British Captain Sam Wyndham and Indian Sgt Surrender not Banerjee The novels are historical fiction, but there is always a grisly crime to be unearthed in the British Raj I must admit that with this novel, I really felt the historical aspect of the novel had stepped up its game The depth of historical detail really added to the story India s social and political climate is described in a fantastic method, letting the characters lead the scenes This is not a history lesson the author simply invites you into 1921 Calcutta The novel opens with Sam fleeing the Imperial police force, blade in hand and covered in blood He is fleeing a Tangra opium den and is certainly feeling the effects, shall we say I began to wonder how bad is Sam s opium addiction Is Sam going to be the murderer in this case Calcutta opium is best smoked ten feet below the corpses of half a dozen dead men Despite the police in pursuit, after the raid on the opium den, Sam manages to escape But he can t get out of his mind the dead body of the Chinese man he found Why was the body so disfigured Was this an opium pipe dream Why was Commanding Officer Callaghan of Vice division raiding the den Sam has so many questions as he falls asleep in a drug induced haze Calcutta was as flawed and dysfunctional as I was Sam When he awakes, late, as usual for Sam now He finds Surrender not has already left for work He lights a cigarette and ponders his next course of action, over the body he found The Chinese were a law unto themselves What they did to each other was none of my business In the background of the novel is the political protests of Mahatma Gandhi It would appear the natives have tired of British rule and long for independence Tempers are frayed, and the jails are full With an impending visit from H.R.H Prince Edward scheduled for Christmas Day Sam and surrender not must ensure the streets are free from protestors Which will be no easy task, at all.Lord Taggart, commissioner of the police for Bengal summons Sam to his office He orders Sam and Surrender not to deliver a message to Gandhi s chief rabble rouser C.R Das that the organisation of congress volunteers is now banned There are clear and spiteful threats issued, the natives must obey their British masters The theme of the British Raj and colonisation in general, makes this novel perfect for book groups There are so many elements to debate It is also easy to look back with the wisdom of hindsight I spend many summer days at Osbourne House the summer home of Queen Victoria It has an Indian room and there is evidence of Indian artefacts throughout Queen Victoria was clearly impressed and inspired by Indian culture I find it surprising that a culture for which she found so fascinating, she never visited Back to the novel and Sam Not only is Sam battling his emotional past, with the loss of his wife Sarah Annie makes a reappearance and he has an out of control opiate addiction He eventually agrees to see a doctor and deal with his opiate addiction once and for all I preferred not to be reminded of the ghosts of Christmas past Sam With Das refusing to give in to Taggart s demands Sam is placed in the awkward position of delivering messages he no longer believes in or agrees with Tell him that I ve no issue with arresting him, his family and every one of his supporters Taggart The British are in the difficult position of wanting to coerce the opposition via threats and intimidation and not wanting to make martyrs of them There will be no easy solution in British India Sam and Surrender not are called to a crime scene at Shant da s medical clinic Where they find the body of a young nurse Ruth Fernandez Ruth s corpse has the identical injuries as the Chinese victim at the opium den But what links the murders Ruth is a native from Goa but holds the role of military nurse She openly practises her Christian faith Are these murders political Has the non violent protest suddenly turned to murder With the new murder and political tensions at an all time high, the British issue a military enforced curfew of 6pm At times it felt that they did everything they could, to ignite the flames of riots Leaving Sam battling his personal opinions and professional responsibilities Maybe my penance was a life sentence Sam When another murder occurs, it is clear Calcutta has a serial killer on its hands and only one man knows the truth Sam.As said above the historical aspects are beautifully written and there is so much detail Each political event, is broken down to be shown from both sides of the governmental powers I wondered how the author would tackle the character of Gandhi and his political stance What you discover is that Gandhi was a highly intelligent man, with a strategic mind He meticulously planned his protests and lived by his convictions But I love the way Sam summarises the situation and some of the finest writing might I add To see a man as your enemy, you needed to hate him, and while it was easy to hate a man who fought you with bullets and bombs, it was bloody difficult to hate a man who opposed you by appealing to your moral compass SamI was sad to see Surrender not, firmly return to his role of side kick In the last novel I really felt his character gain such presence Despite it being difficult to watch an intelligent man must take a back seat to the British rule Yet I respect the author for changing the style of each novel, keeping you the reader guessing and avoiding the huge error of repeating the same novel with just a different case Outstanding historical crime fiction, that I would love to see adapted for the TV screens I can even picture the atmospheric opening credits, as we glance around 1920s Calcutta 5 Genius flag 2 likesLike see review Dec 30, 2018 Sara Aye Moung rated it really liked it review of another edition Another excellent book in this series Atmospheric, interesting characters and an exciting plot Can t wait for the next one flag 2 likesLike see review Jul 02, 2018 Christopher Williams rated it it was amazing review of another edition Latest in this excellent series and maybe the best to date A really good plot that unfolds at just the right pace and with the involvement of the sinister section H again being welcome Looking forward to from this author and this series flag 2 likesLike see review Jun 25, 2018 Dipra Lahiri rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves 2018, fiction, crime mystery Another cracking installment in the Sam Wyndham Surrender not series, set in the tumultuous twenties in Calcutta The historical background is expertly leveraged to lend added urgency and heft to the story Wyndham is a very likable character, flawed but honorable, while his companion Surrender not, belying his small stature, is lionhearted, and together they make an excellent pair, chasing down various villains The series deserves a long run flag 2 likesLike see review Oct 16, 2018 Ming rated it really liked it review of another edition Mukherjee does it again I m not sure what fascinates me He dispatches his white British narrator to eviscerate British ideas about empire and especially about the Raj And it seems like the British readers who are hearty fans are either owning up to their shiet or they didn t catch the scathing critique No matter, the social analysis here is sharp and so refreshing and goes down smooth when you re not choking on his delicious candor Simultaneously, the author crafts a mystery that is co Mukherjee does it again I m not sure what fascinates me He dispatches his white British narrator to eviscerate British ideas about empire and especially about the Raj And it seems like the British readers who are hearty fans are either owning up to their shiet or they didn t catch the scathing critique No matter, the social analysis here is sharp and so refreshing and goes down smooth when you re not choking on his delicious candor Simultaneously, the author crafts a mystery that is compelling and kept me guessing till the very end It s not the standard reveal In fact, his last two books had completely unanticipated reveals I will definitely pick up Mukherjee s subsequent books, each and every one quotes here, to follow flag 2 likesLike see review Jul 05, 2018 Jo Hindhaugh rated it it was amazing review of another edition This series of books is fast becoming one of my favourites Prince Edward is due to visit Calcutta in the midst of increasing unrest among the natives who want independence from British rule Add to this a murderer who is killing his victims in a strangely ritualistic way And, finally, mix in the characters of Captain Sam Wyndham, whose opium addiction is getting increasingly out of control, and Surrender Not, whose job with the Imperial Police Force is at odds with his Indian heritage The ope This series of books is fast becoming one of my favourites Prince Edward is due to visit Calcutta in the midst of increasing unrest among the natives who want independence from British rule Add to this a murderer who is killing his victims in a strangely ritualistic way And, finally, mix in the characters of Captain Sam Wyndham, whose opium addiction is getting increasingly out of control, and Surrender Not, whose job with the Imperial Police Force is at odds with his Indian heritage The opening is gripping, the plot is full of twists and the characters and their relationships are cleverly drawn I, for one, am waiting with baited breath for the next instalment flag 1 likeLike see review Jun 15, 2018 nikkia neil rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves historical fiction, mystery Another killer novel just the right mix of angst, action, and cultural clashes that Mukherjee does the best flag 1 likeLike see review View 1 comment Aug 28, 2018 David Kenvyn rated it it was amazing review of another edition Sam Wyndham and Surrender Not Surindranath Banerjee are about to have their third adventure It is coming to the end of 1921 in Calcutta as it then was and Gandhi has called on the British to Quit India by the end of the year Time is running out and the situation is getting tense We, of course, know what Sam and Surrender Not cannot which is that the British will not quit India for another 27 years To make matters worse, and despite the tension, the Prince of Wales is due to visit the c Sam Wyndham and Surrender Not Surindranath Banerjee are about to have their third adventure It is coming to the end of 1921 in Calcutta as it then was and Gandhi has called on the British to Quit India by the end of the year Time is running out and the situation is getting tense We, of course, know what Sam and Surrender Not cannot which is that the British will not quit India for another 27 years To make matters worse, and despite the tension, the Prince of Wales is due to visit the city for Christmas So the scene is set for a major demonstration and a confrontation between the British imperialists and the Indian nationalists.Sam Wyndham has also become increasingly addicted to opium, frequently visiting the opium dens in Tangra This is not wise for a captain in the British Imperial Police The story begins with Sam fleeing a raid by the Vice Squad across the roof, and stumbling across a mutilated Chinese male corpse Sam does not stop to investigate, but the next day he is assigned a murder case in which a woman has been similarly mutilated So we are launched on a convoluted murder mystery that becomes entangled in the politics of the Raj, and in Sam s personal life, with a bewildered Surrender Not doing his best to help Sam through all his difficulties.That is enough about the plot, or at least about the murders that form the engine for the plot There is also the matter of the deft and convincing way in which Abir Mukherjee weaves real historical characters into the plot Gandhi is mentioned but it is Chitta Ranjan Das, known as the Deshbandhu the friend of the nation , his deputy Subash Bose and of course the Prince of Wales, around whom the story revolves It is the visit of the Prince of Wales to Calcutta that gives the story the possibility of going horribly wrong Mukherjee manages to maintain that tension although we know that the Prince of Wales went on to become Edward VIII and to abdicate, so he could not possibly have been assassinated in Calcutta in 1921.There are also the recurring characters throughout the three books There is Lord Taggart, the Commissioner of Police I have no idea if there was a real Lord Taggart, but I just love the idea of a Mark McManus figure running the Calcutta police in the 1920s We do not get the iconic line There s been a murder but it lurks there in the background of our mind There is the pipe smoking Major Dawson, the head of the security police who is of a Dr Watson figure than Sherlock Holmes, but who is certainly not a man that you would want to cross There is Annie, the Anglo Indian woman, to whom Sam is attracted without much hope of success, and of course there is Sam and Surrender Not, who are a sort of Laurel and Hardy partnership, but intelligent, and up to their necks in corpses Smoke and Ashes is a joy to read because Abir Mukherjee has researched and knows the historical background, has a firm grasp of place and in Sam and Surrender Not gives you believable characters that you care about He also writes a damn fine murder mystery flag Like see review Jan 17, 2019 Abhijat Mitra rated it it was amazing review of another edition This series is among the best crime fiction that I have read and i have read a bit This is doubly rewarding as all the action is based in India Kolkata and at an interesting time 1920s I am gratified that I can read about a city and a milieu which I am absolutely familiar with This is home for an Indian and while I love my Sherlock Holmes, I might not relate to Baker Street Black Friars as well I can do Bhowanipore BBD Bag Sam Wyndham is a great character flawed, clever, brooding, This series is among the best crime fiction that I have read and i have read a bit This is doubly rewarding as all the action is based in India Kolkata and at an interesting time 1920s I am gratified that I can read about a city and a milieu which I am absolutely familiar with This is home for an Indian and while I love my Sherlock Holmes, I might not relate to Baker Street Black Friars as well I can do Bhowanipore BBD Bag Sam Wyndham is a great character flawed, clever, brooding, romantic and I cannot but love his sidekick Surrender not I have read all three books in this series and this one is by far the best But of course do start with his first one A Rising Man which is wonderful as well Smoke and Ashes is a gripping read with a exciting thrilling finish and lots of satisfying twists and turns.Abir Thanks for writing this intelligent series which also helps me know something about my own history whether it it Maharajas Book 2 or the non Cooperation movement Book 3 I really look forward to read the next in this series and would especially recommend it to any Indian hungry for great crime fiction and wants to know something about his country Of course it is universal, so recommended for every crime fiction junkie out there, not only Indian Absolutely, heartily recommended flag Like see review Dec 02, 2018 Fiona Erskine rated it it was amazing review of another edition I bought Smoke and Ashes after hearing Abir speak at Theakston s crime festival Within a chapter I had to put it down The third in the series, and although perfectly readable as a stand alone story, I loved the opening so much that I went back and bought the first two books in order to start at the beginning A Rising Man introduces Captain Sam Wyndham and his sidekick Sergeant Surrender not Banerjee Set in Calcutta, India in the 1920s, the complex tangle of loyalties opium, duty, empir I bought Smoke and Ashes after hearing Abir speak at Theakston s crime festival Within a chapter I had to put it down The third in the series, and although perfectly readable as a stand alone story, I loved the opening so much that I went back and bought the first two books in order to start at the beginning A Rising Man introduces Captain Sam Wyndham and his sidekick Sergeant Surrender not Banerjee Set in Calcutta, India in the 1920s, the complex tangle of loyalties opium, duty, empire, independence, makes for terrific tension A splendidly contrived plot, with a plethora of false leads and blind alleys, leads to a satisfying conclusion no spoilers.A Necessary Evil takes the crime fighting duo from Calcutta into a princely state Trouble is, the princes keep getting murdered A few years ago, I visited Madhya Pradesh and was enchanted by the extraordinary true history of the Begums of Bhopal, a muslim matriarchy that ruled for over a century Abir gets right under the skin of the shifting loyalties, betrayals and power struggles The grisleometer is ratcheted up to 11, with elephants in a starring role.So finally, I was able to get back to Smoke and Ashes I m so glad I waited, because it is undoubtedly the best yet I ve said enough Read it for yourself flag Like see review Dec 18, 2018 Elaine Sharp rated it really liked it review of another edition Abir Mukherjee opens up a whole new world to a child of the late 50 s early 60 s, whose education was coloured by Glorious Empire rather than balanced historical fact His India of the 1920 s viewed through the eyes of a British policeman gives a fascinating glimpse into the tensions and struggles in the move for independence However the lightness of touch in Mukherjee s writing prevents his books from becoming difficult to comprehend or learn from.Sam Wyndham is an unlikely hero and displa Abir Mukherjee opens up a whole new world to a child of the late 50 s early 60 s, whose education was coloured by Glorious Empire rather than balanced historical fact His India of the 1920 s viewed through the eyes of a British policeman gives a fascinating glimpse into the tensions and struggles in the move for independence However the lightness of touch in Mukherjee s writing prevents his books from becoming difficult to comprehend or learn from.Sam Wyndham is an unlikely hero and displays so many human frailties and yet is a high functioning detective in his professional life We feel for him and he becomes extraordinarily real as the plot develops, to the extent that it is hard to bid him Goodbye at the end of the story.Calcutta is perhaps the real star of this book and I find myself googling to learn of it s buildings and people as the plot develops.It is strange to admit that I am not a fan of the crime genre, given that I am devoted to this series but there is something in the writing that is modern, engaging and humorous reflecting the boyish charm of its author This ensures that one s attention never strays and time spent in Sam and Surrender not s company is a delight flag Like see review Jan 04, 2019 CoffeeandInk rated it really liked it review of another edition This is the third in the series set in 1920s India, but the novel easily stands alone I will read the first two books, that s for sure Well written and intricately plotted against the backdrop of Calcutta, this was a very interesting read Sam Wyndham, veteran of WWI, is a police detective in the days of the British Raj, but a change is coming During a raid on an opium den Sam is not part of the raid, but a partaker Sam discovers a dead man with odd injuries Two bodies turn up with th This is the third in the series set in 1920s India, but the novel easily stands alone I will read the first two books, that s for sure Well written and intricately plotted against the backdrop of Calcutta, this was a very interesting read Sam Wyndham, veteran of WWI, is a police detective in the days of the British Raj, but a change is coming During a raid on an opium den Sam is not part of the raid, but a partaker Sam discovers a dead man with odd injuries Two bodies turn up with the same ritualistic markings and Sam and his partner Surrender Not struggle to put the pieces together Meanwhile, Ghandi has inspired his people to peaceful protests against British rule, namely Surrender Not s uncle and aunt, who have become leaders in the resistance The past and present, the social turmoil of the age, begin to play a part in the investigation and for me, this was when the story really got fascinating and hard to put down Sam is a great character, fighting his memories as a soldier, his subsequent addiction to opium, and against the rules that sometimes bind him as a police detective Far from perfect, but determined flag Like see review Aug 10, 2018 Bebe Sarah Brechner rated it it was amazing review of another edition Another fascinating, immensely readable story in the Sam Wyndham Surrender Not Surendranath Bannerjee series The characters are policemen working in 1920 s Calcutta, a hotbed of rising independence agitation, severe poverty, extreme riches, and conflicted morality Mukherjee has a perfect ear for dialogue, both British and Indian, and aptly transverses the bizarre world of colonial military ruled India inbetween the World Wars Mukherjee has developed a truly magnificent character in Sa Another fascinating, immensely readable story in the Sam Wyndham Surrender Not Surendranath Bannerjee series The characters are policemen working in 1920 s Calcutta, a hotbed of rising independence agitation, severe poverty, extreme riches, and conflicted morality Mukherjee has a perfect ear for dialogue, both British and Indian, and aptly transverses the bizarre world of colonial military ruled India inbetween the World Wars Mukherjee has developed a truly magnificent character in Sam Wyndham and an intriguing, character in the making with young Bannerjee The research behind the series is impeccable, and these fascinating historical facts are turned, with Mukherjee s superb hand, into exciting, realistic, and fully human stories This is a must read series Start with the first one each one is a jewel Highly recommended flag Like see review Nov 13, 2018 Pgchuis rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves hardback, library book This third instalment was rather sad and downbeat, I think Sam s opium addiction is ramping up Gandhi s campaign for independence is making life difficult for Surrender not Sam s hopeless pining for Annie which I find inexplicable and annoying pops up again The plot is thriller than mystery, and dragged a little in places for me I hope the next book in this series is funnier and I want things to improve for poor Sam flag Like see review Dec 22, 2018 Rosie Claverton rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves 2018, audiobook Another stunning addition to the series, with the tight woven web of politics, addiction, relationships, and murder all bringing Calcutta and its denizens to startling life.My favourite tidbit was the headline in an English newspaper that simply read Taking Back Control , at which I laughed out loud To avoid crying, obviously The audiobook narrator Simon Bubb is exceptionally talented and really brings the characters to life I could listen to him read these books all day.More please flag Like see review Jul 31, 2018 Sue rated it it was amazing review of another edition Brilliant page turner set in the dying days of the raj The hero is now a self confessed opium addict but still manages to do his job admirably Likeable main characters who remain even so after 3 books Liked the way the experiences of ww1 were intertwined with that of independence Please read the series in order for character development but not necessary as this could be read as a stand aline flag Like see review Dec 07, 2018 Pirate rated it it was amazing review of another edition Recommends it for History and thriller lovers Momentum not as in Corbyn s fan club maintained with another highly entertaining yarn of Sam Wyndham and Surrender Not What makes it a bit special is the atmospheric setting of the Raj and the political tension with the growing indepdendence movement which makes life increasingly difficult for Surrender Not Wyndham s private battles too both with opium and his frustrated love interest are also interesting sub plots Very enjoyable and cannot wait for the next chapter flag Like see review Dec 21, 2018 Matthew Ogborn rated it really liked it review of another edition Another fine entry in the best new author series I have read this year The peaceful protest plot with its nod to Gandhi and his ilk was woven in beautifully along with the plight of the Gurkhas and nefarious government schemes Wyndham s character arc takes off on a welcome tangent, while Surrendernot s conflict was written well flag Like see review Jul 29, 2018 Karen Grikitis rated it really liked it review of another edition A thoroughly absorbing story, which I enjoyed as an audiobook on a very long car journey The political unrest in India at the time time of Gandhi is the backdrop to this crime novel which sees Captain Sam Wyndham and his sidekick Surrender not Banerjee on the tail of a serial killer with a very particular MO flag Like see review Oct 04, 2018 Anirban Majumdar rated it it was amazing review of another edition This is really an exceptional historical crime novel in which most of the incidents had actually happed in the British India Other than the main characters most of the other characters depicted in the book were real This makes the story lively and interesting The novel is so well written that it appears like an actual event from the history book flag Like see review previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next new 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    • [PDF] Download Á Smoke and Ashes | by ☆ Abir Mukherjee
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      Posted by:Abir Mukherjee
      Published :2018-012-22T21:49:40+00:00

    About "Abir Mukherjee"

      • Abir Mukherjee

        ABIR MUKHERJEE was born in London, but spent most of his childhood in Glasgow A graduate of the LSE, he currently works in finance in the City.


    872 Comments

    1. What a fabulous, great series this is I m totally hooked, can t wait for the 4th book Understand it s in preparation More to follow but already Absolutely Highly Recommended This is a series about Captain Sam Wyndham, working at the Calcutta police force, fighting his personal battles and a serious opium addiction His sidekick is Indian sergeant Surrender not Banerjee, who got this name as his original name is hard to pronounce The series is three books so far and is full of What a fabulous, gre [...]


    2. This is the third in the Captain Sam Wyndham series set in December 1921 in the run up to Christmas where there is little cheer for the British and the Raj in India The British strategies to contain the mass movement for independence are failing, Mahatma Gandhi has managed to bring on board the ordinary Indians to protest in non violent protests across the country To their further dismay, Gandhi has co opted the Muslims in the struggle, destroying the usual British plans to divide and rule in Th [...]


    3. FIVE STARS AGAIN Extraordinary, assured, delightful, fascinating, enlightening, and my favourite the Detective as Philosopher A masterpiece, Abir Truly wonderful Thank you for the advanced reader copy.A truly fabulous evening with masters Robert Crais, Joseph Knox and Abir Mukherjee at Waterstones in Staines Full size image As usual with my reviews, please first read the publisher s blurb summary of the book Thank you. Two and a half years since A Rising Man , as this book opens, we fin [...]


    4. love this series.I m not a fan of historical crime for the most part that is to say it is not my go to genre but I made an exception once for A Rising Man and haven t looked back since When I read these novels it is always the characters that make me stay or go and Sam Wyndham is one of those that never fails to enthrall me Also Surrender not Enough said.Anyway, in Smoke and Ashes Sam discovers a body whilst, well, not exactly in a sensible state, the book opening with this discovery love this s [...]



    5. Murder in the RajRoused from a drug addled stupor in an opium den in the backstreets of Calcutta, Sam Wyndham, Captain in the Calcutta police, discovers the place is being raided Discovery of his addiction will finish his career so he flees, only to stumble across the body of a horribly mutilated Chinaman Or did he Next day, when no report of the murder comes in, Sam is left wondering if he hallucinated the whole thing That is, until he is called out to another murder, where the body has Murder [...]


    6. Probably the best historical fiction detective series atm The dialogue is sharp, the setting so informative but with just enough detail The characters are amazing even after this 3rd novel Highly recommend this series


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