This second book in The Raj Quartet is remarkably complicated (in a good way) and sophisticated. The aftermath of the Daphne Manners story is still playing out and leads to an extraordinary middle section where Hari Kumar is interviewed in prison: a dense and thrilling piece of writing.
At the same time, we're introduced to a host of new characters and new locations that broaden out the scope of the novel. Everything is in a state of chaos and flux, on personal, national and international levels with WW2 playing out and bringing the Japanese army to India's borders.
Scott's ability to manage the multiple dimensions of his story is quite extraordinary: characters are both rounded personalities and also take on symbolic significances, just as the rape did in the first book.
The writing is dense and the connections between section not always clear so sometimes we just have to live with a slight unevenness. Scott, though, never simplifies the workings or effects of the colonial relationships on either side of the equation. As an analysis of the Raj, India's struggles for independence, and imperialism more generally this is magnificent.