The Strangler Vine (Blake and Avery Novel #1) (Paperback)
A perfect combination of mystery and political intrigue, historical fiction set in India during British colonial rule, and an introduction to characters masterfully wrought to show just how good people can be persuaded to do bad things. Blake and Avery are reminiscent of Holmes and Watson, and the exotic setting and powerful indictment of colonial rule make this one of my favorites.— Linda
Set in the untamed wilds of nineteenth-century colonial India, this dazzling historical thriller introduces Blake and Avery--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. A FINALIST FOR THE EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL
A WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK
LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION
About the Author
M.J. Carter is the author of the Blake and Avery novels, including The Devil's Feast, The Infidel Stain, and The Strangler Vine. A former journalist, she is also 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.