When Jerry Delfont receives a letter from an American
philanthropist, Mrs. Merrill Unger, with news of a scandal involving an Indian
friend of her son’s, he is intrigued. Who is the dead boy, found on the floor
of a cheap hotel room? How and why did he die? And what is Jerry to make of a
patch of carpet and a package containing a human hand?
He is swiftly
captivated by the beautiful, mysterious Mrs. Unger—and revived by her tantric
massages—but the circumstances surrounding the dead boy cause him to doubt the
woman’s motives and the exact nature of her philanthropy. Without much to go
on, Jerry pursues answers from the teeming streets of Calcutta to Uttar
Pradesh. It is a dark and twisted trail of obsession and need.
A Dead Hand demonstrates
the powerful evocation of place and character that has made Paul Theroux one of
the most perceptive and engaging writers today.
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