‘The Cardamom Club is an elegant and assured piece of writing, a powerfully characterised examination of identity and displacement.’
The Cardamom Club is a fast moving spy novel about Raj Nair, a young British Asian doctor at the Foreign Office who is posted to New Delhi. Ambitious and patriotic, he has also agreed to work for MI6 – a decision he soon regrets. The MI6 station head in Delhi does not approve of British Asians working for the intelligence services. In fact, he disapproves of anything to do with the subcontinent – particularly a strong and independent, nuclear India. Raj, visiting his parents’ country of birth for the first time, is soon forced to question his own loyalties, particularly when Special Branch arrest Raj’s father back in Britain on trumped up spying charges. And when the British High Commissioner in Delhi, an indophile and Raj’s ally, is mysteriously recalled to London, Raj realises he is up against a secretive, colonial organisation working at the very highest levels of Whitehall: the Cardamom Club. At its rotten core is Macaulay, our man in Cochin, who used to work for Indian Political Intelligence – the secret service that spied on colonial India. Is the sinister Macaulay responsible for a spate of child sacrifices, suttee and other brutalities at odds with the image of a modern, progressive India? And can Raj, with the help of the beautiful journalist Priyanka, expose the Cardamom Club to the world before it destroys him?