The Empire Strikes

From The New York Times:

Author In his sixth novel, “The Bloodstone Papers,” the Anglo-Indian novelist Glen Duncan, who typically writes painfully lucid, bereft books about modern men obsessed with sex and death, steps halfway out of his den of regret to look back at the gilded, sun-weathered pages of empire. He’s still got a painfully lucid, bereft main character: Owen Monroe, a depressed Anglo-Indian teacher in London, nearly 40, whose students’ heads are “full of mobile phone numbers and contraception, hip-hop lyrics, diets, the gaggle of celebrities having a permanent soirée in their brains.”

Jaded and morose, mourning a vanished ex, Owen plumps out his “bitty,” wifeless life by tending bar at a place called Neon Hallelujah and writing pornography under the pseudonym Millicent Nash. But this time Duncan’s protagonist isn’t focused entirely on himself: Owen is obsessed by an Englishman named Skinner and by the mystery of whether Skinner did or did not repeatedly dupe Owen’s father, Ross, in India in the 1940s and ’50s — and if so, why he did, and why Ross let him get away with it.

More here.