Abir Mukherjee

Abir Mukherjee (he/him) is the Times bestselling author of the Sam Wyndham series of crime novels set in Raj era India. His debut, A Rising Man, won the CWA Endeavour Dagger for best historical crime novel of 2017 and was nominated for the MWA Edgar for best novel. His second novel, A Necessary Evil, won the Wilbur Smith Award. His third novel, Smoke and Ashes, was chosen by the Sunday Times as one of the 100 Best Crime & Thriller Novels since 1945. Abir grew up in Scotland and now lives in London with his wife and two sons.

In this “flawless” (Lee Child), action-packed thriller that will “keep you guessing until the very end” (Ruth Ware), two parents facing catastrophe must find their lost children before the unthinkable can happen.

For fans of The Chain and I Am Pilgrim, this ground-breaking, blockbuster thriller is unlike any other thriller you will read this year.

I was once told that it’s good to compartmentalize, to do different things in different places. I’ve taken that to heart. So I tend to write first drafts on my lap-top while sitting on my bed. This sometimes leads to me falling asleep, and whilst my wife says this is laziness, I insist it’s part of the creative process. Editing though is another matter. For that I need some place more formal, ideally with several screens so I can keep a track of everything. For that I use my study (AKA the kids’ playroom). Fortunately I am bigger than the kids and I pay the bills so I can kick them out of the room whenever I need to. Here’s a photo:

This is the Night They Come For You by Robert Goddard, a fantastic novel set in Algeria, the UK and France, dealing with the murder of an English woman caught up in the Algerian struggle for independence and the impact it has on her brother and the daughter of her one-time boyfriend fifty years on. Goddard is one of the finest authors of political crime fiction writing today; the master of the double-cross. In terms of recommendations, I absolutely inhaled TENTH OF DECEMBER, a book of short stories by George Saunders. Saunders has a way of bringing the mundane to life and having you rooting for the downtrodden everyman. Powerful stuff indeed.

My reading chair, beside the fire, with ample space for whisky bottle and glass. Problem is, every time I sit down, there tends to be some family emergency (requirement to take out trash or deal with the kids’ nosebleeds etc.) which force me to get up. I think the chair might be jinxed.

I write from a position of anger. Whatever is worrying me or making me angry is what I write about. My historical fiction novels are often allegories for the problems we face today. With HUNTED, I wanted to write something cutting edge and up to date but still dealing with themes and issues that bother me. My editor, Josh Kendall, asked me the question, “So what is your biggest fear?” My answer to that was simple. “The fear that I wouldn’t be able to protect my kids in an increasingly polarized and radicalized world.” And that was the genesis for HUNTED.

I can’t put it any better than Kirkus in their recent review: “Taut, credible and scary.”

The best thing in the world is my wife’s lamb biryani. The recipe is a closely guarded secret, but here’s a picture of it, which I now realize is pretty useless as a guide, seeing as the lamb is on the bottom. Sorry.

The book I recommend not just to my best friend but to everyone is AN EQUAL MUSIC by Vikram Seth. It’s a tale of love lost and nearly regained, set in contemporary London, Vienna, and Venice. It brilliantly interweaves themes of loss, longing, and the power of music, and I found it deeply moving. I’d recommend it because I think we’ve all gone through that feeling of having loved and lost and thought, “What if there was a chance to try again?”.

Sci-Fi! Because there’s no fiction that can’t be improved with lasers and jetpacks.

I’m a Capricorn and Capricorns don’t believe in astrology.

The ability to know the future would be the best one. Failing that, the ability to read peoples’ minds, though that could be depressing. On a more mundane note, I’ve often thought that having fingers that doubled as highlighters would be nice (each finger would be a different colour). This would be an extremely practical superpower for editing a manuscript.