This is book two of "The Raj Quartet". India, August 9th 1942: the morning brings raids and the arrest by British police of Congress Party members.
Amongst the prisoners is the distinguished ex-Chief Minister Mohammed Ali Kasim.
Loyal to the party's central vision of a unified free India, his incarceration is a symptom of the growing deterioration of Anglo-Indian relations.
For the long-serving British family, the Laytons, the political and social ramifications are immediate, disturbing and tragic.
Some, like Ronald Merrick, believe that true intimacy between the races is impossible; others, such as Sarah Layton, struggle to come to terms with their Anglo-Indian past.
With growing confusion and bewilderment, the British are forced to confront the violent and often brutal years that lie ahead of them.