Raj is a British Asian working for MI6 and posted to Delhi. He is ambitious and patriotic but it is his first time in India and he is forced to question his loyalties when he is set up against a secretive colonial organisation. There are vivid descriptions of everyday Indian life, with some witty observations; but there is also a darker, more sinister side which delves into the issues of identity and the West's relationship with India.
The harbour was a highway of ferries criss-crossing to and from everywhere except the Malabar jetty. When one eventually turned up, I cursed myself for having waited. Barely seaworthy, it was packed with people hanging off its splintered wooden sides and clinging to the corrugated iron roof, where there was a tangle of bicycles on their sides. I was already reading one of those short newspaper paragraphs that recounted how a ferry on the other side of the world had sunk between islands with the loss of hundreds.