Top critical review
A frustrating read.
15 April 2019
Once the author gets to grips with the Patient Assassin I found it exciting, but other parts of the book I found annoying.
The first chapter, belongs at the book's end end,. Why? Because about 80% of it is about two British hangmen which made me wonder was the book in the right cover? Roger Casement is mentioned twice, once I could understand but not the second. Hyperbole - 'Udham Singh was the most hated man in Britain,' I found hard to believe as one Adolph Hitler would wear that title at that time; perhaps the newspaper headlines claimed Udham was , but was it 'fake news headlines' to sell newspapers?
I'm not sure why reference is made to the Irish Civil War more appropriate for me would have been reference to the use of the army to break the 1910 Welsh Miners strike. In that strike the troops didn't shoot, despite some claims to the contrary, but it shows the country's ruling class had no compunction in using soldiers against all or any of their opponents.
The author early on in the book gets into descriptive writing whose role seems to be a filler. The constant use of adjectives reduces their impact and slows the narrative down. The author strikes me as one who if she knows something though not directly relevant she puts it in. A stronger editor was needed.
Despite what I said above I enjoyed the book once it got going and concentrated on Udham Singh. The appalling events perpetrated in India is emotively described here. I would recommend the book particularly if you know nothing about Britain's role in India after the Great War.