Lit Review: A Dead Hand

I judged this book by its cover and got just about what I paid for- a page-turning murder mystery set in Calcutta of indeterminate literary value (for the record I was looking for something fluffy to read).  What I didn't expect, however, was to read a piece of popular fiction that quickly veered into Orientalism.  It started out generally, "all Indians think this way" and "all Indians act that way" but quickly came to create a vision of India populated by tantric sex, goat sacrifice, and evil- and not much else.  Said would have had a field day with this one.  By the end all the male Indians have become feminized, India is a dark, sexual and unknowable place, and white women in India have become corrupted, exoticized, and uncontrollable.  Yes, Kali isn't all rose petals and sunshine and Calcutta isn't heaven, but I think a slightly more nuanced version of India might be in order.  It also got old reading about an old male writer with writers block (repetition intended).  Overall, the book was certainly a page-turner, but deeply flawed.