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India Be Damned: A Novel of Partition

Peter Popham
Camphor Press Ltd
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An epic thriller set in India during the last days of the British Raj.India Be Damned traces the fate of a group of Indians and foreigners who are ripped from their moorings by the first murderous months of independence, their long-held certainties shattered.Vandana Singh shook a cigarette from her bag, leaned into the candle flame and exhaled a long plume of smoke. "Don't be silly, Fred," she said. "Where does 'silly' come into it?" "Fred dear, you're British. The Raj is dying on its feet." "Why is this a problem?" "You people are in power," she explained gently. "Outrageous though it seems, you've been in power here for centuries. What do you imagine your life here would be like if you weren't?" He furrowed his brow. Of course the British were leaving. Their departure was long overdue. But life - his own charmed life - would go on much as before, wouldn't it?As the independence deadline approaches, Britain plays a wild card, appointing world-famous war hero Lord Mounbatten the last Viceroy. "Dickie" and his socialist wife Edwina imbue the end of empire with their legendary panache, and for foreign journalists and freedom fighters alike it's a dazzling show. But inscrutably, Mountbatten decides to rush the process to its conclusion - damning India to a baptism of blood.India Be Damned is a gripping tale of love and paranoia, hope and despair, steeped in the flavours of the subcontinent. Peter Popham's debut novel deftly draws the reader on, ratcheting the tension right up to the shocking conclusion.