Calcutta, 1837. The East India Company rules India — or most of it, and its most notorious and celebrated son, Xavier Mountstuart, has gone missing on an expedition to track down the Thugs, the murderous sect of Kali-worshippers who strangle innocent travellers by the roadside. Wiliam Avery, a down-at-heel junior officer in the Company’s army, is sent on a secret mission to find him in the unlikely company of the enigmatic and uncouth Jeremiah Blake. A more mismatched duo couldn’t be imagined, and as they are drawn deeper into the dark heart of colonial India, Avery is far from certain that the mysterious Mr Blake has the expedition’s best interests at heart. The first in a series of historical mysteries by established historian and biographer MJ Carter.