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  • Published: 14 May 2018
  • ISBN: 9781784704773
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $22.99

A Necessary Evil

Wyndham and Banerjee Book 2

India, 1920. Captain Wyndham and Sergeant Banerjee of the Calcutta Police Force investigate the dramatic assassination of a Maharajah's son


India, 1920. Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant Banerjee of Calcutta Police must investigate the dramatic assassination of a Maharaja's son...

Sam Wyndham is visiting the kingdom of Sambalpore, home to diamond mines and the beautiful Palace of the Sun.

But when the Maharaja's eldest son is assassinated, Wyndham realises that the realm is riven with conflict. Prince Adhir was unpopular with religious groups, while his brother - now in line to the throne - appears to be a feckless playboy.

As Wyndham and Sergeant 'Surrender-not' Banerjee endeavour to unravel the mystery, they become entangled in a dangerous world. They must find the murderer, before the murderer finds them.

Praise for the Sam Wyndham series:

'An exceptional historical crime novel' C.J. Sansom

'A thought-provoking rollercoaster' Ian Rankin

'Confirms Abir Mukherjee as a rising star of historical crime fiction'
The Times
'Cracking. A journey into the dark underbelly of the British Raj' Daily Express

If you enjoyed A Necessary Evil, the third Sam Wyndham mystery, Smoke and Ashes, is available now.

  • Published: 14 May 2018
  • ISBN: 9781784704773
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Abir Mukherjee

Abir Mukherjee is the bestselling author of the award-winning Wyndham & Banerjee series of crime novels set in Raj-era India. He has won the CWA Historical Dagger and the Wilbur Smith Award for Adventure Writing, and has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger, and HWA Gold Crown. His novels, A Rising Man and Smoke and Ashes were both selected as Waterstones Thriller of the Month. Smoke and Ashes was also chosen as one of The Times’ Best Crime and Thrillers since 1945. Abir grew up in Scotland and now lives in Surrey with his wife and two sons.

Also by Abir Mukherjee

See all

Praise for A Necessary Evil

Even better than his first… What is most striking about Mukherjee’s novels is his infectious enjoyment of the human oddity of the British in India… Even better is his portrayal of the mix of opulence and spirituality that characterises Sambalpore under its sybaritic but benevolent maharaja… I can’t imagine anyone failing to enjoy it

Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph

A year ago I welcomed the arrival of Captain Sam Wyndham and his faithful Sergeant… and I am delight to report that his return is every bit as engaging

Geoffrey Wansell, Daily Mail

A richly detailed period gem boasting the British Raj’s exotic setting and a gripping "whydunit" spun around an intriguing cast

Christine Tran, Booklist

An intriguing and enjoyable crime novel

Sarah Shaffi, Stylist

He writes beautifully, bringing the colourful kingdom of Sambalpore to vivid life and taking the reader on a highly entertaining journey to unearth the dark secrets as its core, with unexpected twists on the way to a satisfying finale

Jon Coates, Daily Express

Wyndham is an appealing character, reckless and self-aware by turns, and the contradictions of the Raj are beautifully evoked

Joan Smith, Sunday Times

An exceptional historical crime novel.

CJ Sansom

A journey into the dark underbelly of the British Raj.

Daily Express

A Rising Man is a whodunnit set in the social and political tinderbox of 1919 Calcutta – a thought-provoking rollercoaster.

Ian Rankin

Splendid...Captain Sam Wyndham is a winning creation.

The Times, Crime Book of the Month

Terrific...Mukherjee’s descriptions of Calcutta under the Raj are vivid, while Wyndham’s position as a newcomer with fresh eyes works brilliantly.

Sunday Times, Crime Book of the Month

Evocative, intricate, beautifully written. A must read.

Vaseem Khan, author of the Inspector Chopra mysteries

One of the most exciting debut novels I've read in years.

Val McDermid on A RISING MAN

A lip-smacking and highly entertaining mystery, set in a Calcutta so convincingly evoked that readers will find sweat bursting from their foreheads.

Daily Telegraph

This vivid murder mystery moves at breakneck speeds.

Sunday Times

An intoxicating debut… The most engaging detective since…James Runcie’s Grantchester series: utterly captivating.

Daily Mail

Richly satisfying, in character, sense of place and colour, this is a crime novel to revel in.

Lin Anderson on A NECESSARY EVIL

Abir Mukherjee has a flair for recreating a place and time... The heat, the dust, the different way of life, all come together in a cracking story.


Another writer who shows how to inject unexpected warmth into credible stories of murder… Full of colour, wit and clever phrasing, this novel should be only the second in a long, long series

N.J. Cooper, BookOxygen

This second outing confirms Abir Mukherjee as a rising star of historical crime fiction

Antonia Senior, The Times

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