A Dead Hand


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About the Author

Paul Theroux was born in Medford, Massachusetts in 1941. He has written many works of fiction and travel writing, including The Last Train to Zona Verde, Dark Star Safari, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Riding the Iron Rooster, The Great Railway Bazaar, The Elephanta Suite, A Dead Hand, The Tao of Travel and The Lower River. The Mosquito Coast and Dr Slaughter have both been made into successful films. Paul Theroux divides his time between Cape Cod and the Hawaiian islands. His most recent work is Deep South, which is published by Hamish Hamilton.


The prolific and well-traveled Theroux follows Ghost Train to the Eastern Star with a crime novel set in India. Jerry Delfont, a middle-aged travel writer, has ended up in Calcutta with no stories, no ideas, and no clear direction until he receives a letter from Mrs. Merrill Unger asking for his help. Rajat, a friend of Mrs. Unger's son, woke up in a cheap hotel with the dead body of a boy on the floor of his room and fled, rightly untrusting of the police. Jerry meets the Mrs. Unger and falls under her spell, his obsession fueled by her beauty and her skill at tantric massage. Mrs. Unger, who runs a children's charity, came to India to work with Mother Teresa, but soon joined "the temple across the street" dedicated to Kali and is a practicing priestess who doesn't shirk at the goddess's requirement of animal sacrifice. While it's all good light fun, the real pleasure is Theroux's talent for rendering place and his irreverent comments on everything from the British royals to pop culture, aging, and yes, the venerable Mother Teresa. (Feb.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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