Durrani’s mission takes him on a journey of espionage and subterfuge, discovery and enlightenment, violence and love. While the dedication and allegiance of men like Durrani may be exploited by the opposing forces of volatile governments, Durrani’s integrity could turn out to be the Achilles’ heel of those who would exploit him. While this novel neatly fits a long-established spy thriller formula, its setting is fresh and unique. It weaves a timely tale of extremist politics and terrorist plots with the insight of one who knows the field.
And purely from the cultural perspectives of the characters involved. I was impressed by the author’s ability to tell the story from an authentically cultural perspective, rather than from a western point of view. I was occasionally distracted by editorial oversights, but on the whole the story is well-structured, and it flows nicely. I especially appreciated the cover art, as it accurately captures the essence of the story. North from Calcutta is a strong offering from a new author; I had to look twice to confirm that this was in fact his first novel.