Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Inspector Ghote’s First Case"

H. R. F. Keating was the reviewer for the London Times for fifteen years and served as chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Society of Authors. He has been the longest-serving president of the Detection Club, next only to Agatha Christie. He twice won the CWA Gold Dagger, and in 1996, he was awarded the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger. He lives in London with his wife, the actor Sheila Mitchell, who regularly reads his titles as audio books.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Inspector Ghote's First Case, and reported the following:
Page 69 is, of course no more typical, to my mind, of the rest of Inspector Ghote’s First Case than page 68 or page 70. One page may contain many elements, as this does, of the way I try to convey character through dialogue and forward the story through descriptions of place and situation but it can only be a snapshot of the particular moment I have reached in the story. Like all the preceding 25 Ghote titles it is a detective novel with a strong plot line, but it is also a novel that builds a picture of India in the 1960s, post Raj and still young in its Independence and above all it is written about a young policeman on the threshold of his career. Although, since 1964, there has been a whole series about Inspector Ganesh Ghote of the Bombay CID this title takes him back to the beginning, to the day when he was still an Assistant Inspector and receives a letter informing him of his promotion to Inspector and appointment to the prestigious Detection of Crime Branch. As rapidly becomes apparent Ghote’s life is never straight forward and he is constantly being asked to make decisions that are fraught with difficulties. His home life with his heavily pregnant young wife, Protima, provides further complications when he sent out of Bombay to the hills of Mahableshwar. By and large P69 contains examples of the Indian English I use frequently and has touches of the old Raj life led by Dawkins Sahib as well as revealing some of Ghote’s anxieties, so it is certainly as typical as many another page of the book as a whole.
Read more about the author and the Inspector Ghote series at H. R. F. Keating's website.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue