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    Ravi is a journalist in Delhi who starts to investigate government complicity in the controversial demolition of a mosque.

    Peggy is an American researcher who finds a mysterious antique in a Delhi museum – a possible Indian ‘Rosetta Stone’.

    They meet, fall in love and then find themselves caught up in India’s history wars, a labyrinth of deception and self-delusion that threatens their lives.   

    More determined than ever and too ambitious to heed the danger, will they uncover the truth or become victims of the violence?

    “The mystery of the 4,000-year old Indus Valley seals—especially their still undeciphered script—has always intrigued me.  Then, as I began to write the story, I realised that the controversy over the seals was part of a much bigger and more dangerous issue—the rewriting of Indian history and the violence it can unleash, as seen in the demolition of the mosque at Ayodhya in 1992.  I wanted to write a novel that dramatised these two issues, mixing ancient history with current political violence.” Stuart Blackburn.

    This is a gripping book that will interest lovers of Indian history, political thrillers and historical fiction.

    The book is available to pre-order now from Amazon. We also have a limited number of review copies available to people in exchange for a review, media interview or feature about the book.

    Some advance reviews:

    “This book is extraordinary in many ways.  It combines a gripping plot about a complex love affair between an American woman and an Indian man with a dramatic story about political violence in 1990s India and a mystery about archaeological objects 4,000 years old.   The author’s deep knowledge of India illuminates the ongoing debate about Hindu nationalism and the rewriting of history, animating these issues with characters whom the reader cares about—a journalist, a retired uncle, an American researcher and her widowed mother.   I really could not put the book down until the very end.”

    Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Professor of the History of Religions, University of Chicago, and the author of many books, including ‘The Hindus—An Alternative History’.

    “A thoughtful and absorbing book, with lively, credible characters, whose lives are deeply affected by the historical events of their times.  Vividly told, the story illustrates the dangers and excesses of India’s history wars. A wonderful read.”

    Vasudha Dalmia, Professor Emerita,  University of California, Berkeley.

    About me, Stuart.

    Born in the USA, I first went to India in 1970 and later built an academic career (mainly at SOAS in London) in the field of Indian culture and literature. During that time, I published a dozen books and a translation of a novel that won the A K Ramanujan book prize in 2000.  After retiring my first novel was published in 2014. The second, which won the 2016 M M Bennetts award for historical fiction, came out in 2016. I live in Brighton with my wife and cats.


    The book will be released in January 2019. We have a limited number of review copies available to people in exchange for a review, media interview or feature about the book.

    Please email [email protected] if you would like to request a copy.


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