A Dead Hand by Paul Theroux
A Crime in Calcutta

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Synopsis

Jerry Delfont leads an aimless life in Calcutta, struggling in vain against his writer's block, or 'dead hand,' and flitting around the edges of a half-hearted romance. Then he receives a mysterious letter asking for his help. The story it tells is disturbing: A dead boy found on the floor of a cheap hotel, a seemingly innocent man in flight and fearing for reputation as well as his life.

Before long, Delfont finds himself lured into the company of the letter's author, the wealthy and charming Merrill Unger, and is intrigued enough to pursue both the mystery and the woman. A devotee of the goddess Kali, Unger introduces Delfont to a strange underworld where tantric sex and religious fervor lead to obsession, philanthropy and exploitation walk hand in hand, and, unless he can act in time, violence against the most vulnerable in society goes unnoticed and unpunished.

An atmospheric and masterful thriller from "the most gifted, the most prodigal writer of his generation" (Jonathan Raban).

 

About Paul Theroux

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PAUL THEROUX is the author of many highly acclaimed books. His novels include The Lower River and The Mosquito Coast, and his renowned travel books include Ghost Train to the Eastern Star and Dark Star Safari. He lives in Hawaii and on Cape Cod.
 
Published November 3, 2009 by McClelland & Stewart. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Dead Hand

The New York Times

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Paul Theroux casts himself as a character in this tantric mystery novel about a travel writer at the end of his rope.

Feb 28 2010 | Read Full Review of A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta

The Independent

In A Dead Hand, the veteran US travel writer Paul Theroux has created a literary crime novel of sorts set in Calcutta, told through the eyes of a veteran American travel writer, Jerry Delfont.

Nov 15 2009 | Read Full Review of A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta

The Telegraph

We get pages of Jerry being prodded .

Nov 09 2009 | Read Full Review of A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta

The Bookbag

In the second part of the book, the narrator is introduced to another writer visiting India - a certain Paul Theroux which is kind of amusing but it also comes across as a bit self-congratulating - although this Mr Theroux is talked about in less than complimentary terms.

Sep 09 2012 | Read Full Review of A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta

Jacksonville.com

From traveling the world's exotic railways, to crossing the continent of Africa the long way - from Cairo to Cape Town - his books always give us an eye-opening, profound and sensitive look at the world we live in.

Feb 28 2010 | Read Full Review of A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta

Scotsman.com

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Nov 14 2009 | Read Full Review of A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta

Bookmarks Magazine

Recently Reviewed Elephanta Suite ( 4 of 5 Stars Jan/Feb 2008) and Ghost Train to the Eastern Star ( 3 of 5 Stars Nov/Dec 2008).

Nov 08 2009 | Read Full Review of A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta

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