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The Deceivers [Paperback]

John Masters
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug 1988
In 1825 William Savage is an official in the East India Company committed to the people of his remote district and British rule in India. He witnesses a double murder and stumbles upon the society of the thuggee, a secret cult that has flourished in India for 200 years and murdered over a million people. When Savage discovers a mass grave, including the body of a recently killed British officer, his investigation leads him to infiltrate the cult in disguise. He learns the secrets of the thuggees but finds himself immersed in their world and drawn to the ecstasy of ritual killing. Can Savage s sense of honour prevail, can he destroy the thuggees? John Masters captures the beauty, the strangeness and the splendour of India under the Raj and evokes the tensions and conflicts of India under British rule with an authority unlike any other writer.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf Pub; Mti edition (Aug 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881844195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881844191
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,024,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


The story, which is as exciting as any I have read for a long time… Readable, vivid and spectacular. --C.P. Snow, Sunday Times

Simply as gripping exotic tales, his books read splendidly still… but they deserve to be read also as a revelation to the young and a reminder to the old of a vanished world. --The Tablet

He organizes and controls the swift-moving, exciting narrative with the unobtrusive brilliance of a first-class military strategist. --The Observer --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Masters was a General in the British army and the fifth member of his family to serve in India. After education in England he joined the Fourth Prince of Wales Own Gurkha Rifles and served on the North-West Frontier. During World War II he fought in the Middle East before joining General Wingate s Chindits in Burma. He retired from the army in 1948 and turned to writing. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't know why this book is out of print 1 April 2005
A gripping thriller set in early 19th century colonial India. The protagonist is a decent British official who tries to understand the people he governs, despite lack of confidence in his own abilities. Confronted by the terror of the murderous cult of the goddess Kali whose followers prey on travellers, he goes underground as a 'mole' to record the murders with the aim of eventually rooting out the organisation. In doing so he has to become an Indian and comes to know himself in wrestling with his conscience. A well-written book which hits the buttons for action, history and psychology - I don't know why it's out of print.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent service, excellent book 12 April 2010
The Deceivers is a great story based on truth and with an authenticity in the telling. The film never did it justice - it is hard to convey the subtleties on film so it just becomes a seemingly far-fetched action story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old favourite 24 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I guess anybody ordering this novel will already have a fair knowledge of John Master's style and usual subject matter, India. I find his books demonstrate a great affection, perhaps love, of the country and its peoples. He is sufficiently informed and competent in some of its tongues to be a fascinating story teller. Certainly it's to my taste anyway.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masters an apt name for a story teller 26 Jan 2014
By Tony A
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book for the first time over fifty years ago in Calcutta - an perfect venue indeed. At that time, for me it was quite a chilling experience - such is Master's writing. Re-reading it again in a gentle city suburb it is slightly different but at times still takes me back, with a chill, to those dark alleyways of that most amazing city!
Read iit - but keep the lights on!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing shocking secrets of indias deep past 15 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
well written it kept my interest and amazement of India's hidden past throughout. I will be reading more from this author
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5.0 out of 5 stars A interesting and worthwhile read. 4 Jun 2014
By Mike B
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this in my youth and it left a strong impression. 45 years on and it still reads well with a strong narrative of its time. I sense now more the highway robbery aspect of the story and less it's seeming justification through religious rite and the mystery of Kali. There's a lesson here for today!
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