The Bloodstone Papers

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9780061239663: The Bloodstone Papers

Switching seamlessly between the chaos and bloodshed of 1940s India and the multicultural mélange of twenty-first-century Britain, Glen Duncan's sublime new novel finds love in both.

Ross Monroe is a boxing railwayman with a weakness for get-rich-quick schemes. Kate Lyle is a headstrong young woman desperate to escape a sexually predatory household. Both are Anglo-Indians, members of a race that helped turn the wheels of Empire for years. But Empire days are numbered, and as India sheds its colonial skin, the young lovers must face their own tryst with destiny.

In twenty-first-century England, Owen Monroe is writing this story of his parents' lives in an effort to avoid the problems in his own: lost love, relentless libido, dreams of death, and a world full of headlines he can't understand and doesn't want to. But keeping past and present apart isn't as easy as it seems, and before long Owen is deep in the one story he never wanted to tell....

Epic in its scope yet never losing sight of the telling, gorgeous detail, The Bloodstone Papers is an extraordinarily rich and beautiful read that manages to ask the big questions without fuss and to accept that the big answers aren't always what we want to hear.

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About the Author:

Glen Duncan is the critically acclaimed author of six previous novels, including Death of an Ordinary Man; I, Lucifer; and, most recently, The Bloodstone Papers. He lives in London.

From Publishers Weekly:

A listless part-time teacher and writer of pornographic novels helps his elderly father quench a decades-old thirst for revenge in Duncan's sixth novel (after Death of an Ordinary Man). Anglo-Indian narrator Owen Monroe, long accustomed to his quasi-bohemian lifestyle in contemporary London, has been hearing from his father, Ross, for years about the devious Skinner, the English con man who, decades before, ruined Ross's Olympic boxing dreams. Though Skinner disappeared, Ross has never given up hope of finding him, but it is Owen's chance discovery in a library (a novel by a pseudonymous author Owen and Ross believe to be Skinner) that finally gives them a lead. Posing as a literary scholar, Owen tries to arrange an interview with the author, but ends up instead in bed (repeatedly) with the author's daughter, Janet. As Owen continues his investigation, Duncan cuts back to pre- and post-partition India, where Ross, a railroad worker, first encounters Skinner and eventually becomes unwisely involved in a scheme to boost freight from a train Ross and his longtime friend Eugene work on. The plan's consequences are far-reaching for all involved and propel the novel toward a surprisingly anticlimactic conclusion. Though the narrative sometimes feels coyly deceptive, Duncan's polished, merciless and frequently hilarious prose supplies a trove of pleasures all its own. (Aug.)
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