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 Savages 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.