The Strangler Vine (Hardcover)
A rousing historical adventure novel, which can also be read as an allegory for British occupation, The Strangler Vine is a fascinating work of fiction. A naive officer in the East India Company must face his own Heart of Darkness when he is sent to recover a scandalous poet who has gone missing while infiltrating the Thuggee Cults. Could he have discovered something amiss among Britain's politics in India, 1837? Full of actual historical figures, this fast-paced novel will sweep you away to another time and place with vivid writing and a terrific mystery.— From William Recommends
A FINALIST FOR THE EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL
A WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK OF 2015
LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2014
Set in the untamed wilds of nineteenth-century colonial India, a dazzling historical thriller introducing an unforgettable investigative pair.
India, 1837: William Avery is a young soldier with few prospects except rotting away in campaigns in India; Jeremiah Blake is a secret political agent gone native, a genius at languages and disguises, disenchanted with the whole ethos of British rule, but who cannot resist the challenge of an unresolved mystery. What starts as a wild goose chase for this unlikely pair trying to track down a missing writer who lifts the lid on Calcutta society becomes very much more sinister as Blake and Avery get sucked into the mysterious Thuggee cult and its even more ominous suppression.
There are shades of Heart of Darkness, sly references to Conan Doyle, that bring brilliantly to life the India of the 1830s with its urban squalor, glamorous princely courts and bazaars, and the ambiguous presence of the British overlords the officers of the East India Company who have their own predatory ambitions beyond London's oversight.
About the Author
M. J. Carter is a former journalist and the author of two acclaimed works of nonfiction, Anthony Blunt: His Lives and George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I. She is married with two sons and lives in London.