It’s time! I’m republishing Back Home on 27 November.
What’s it all about?
Back Home completes the trilogy of books narrated by John Williamson. In The White Rajah he leaves his home in Devon and takes up life as a sailor, eventually ending up in Borneo with the eponymous White Rajah, James Brooke. At the end of that book, unable to live with what he has seen in Brooke’s war on pirates, he leaves, travelling on to India. The next book finds him in the town of Cawnpore as the Indian Mutiny breaks out. With his working class roots and his homosexuality, Williamson is never at ease with the English rulers of the Empire and when Cawnpore is the centre of a bloody conflict between Indians and Europeans, Williamson finds his loyalties torn. Faced with the death of friends on both sides of the conflict, Williamson eventually breaks down and has to return to England.
Back Home is the end of his travels, back in Devon, where it all began. He is to have one final adventure, though. Travelling to London to find an old friend who has vanished into the city, Williamson is caught up in a world of poverty and crime. It’s a time of growing tension between Britain and France and there are those who believe that a criminal conspiracy in the London slums is organised from Paris. Williamson becomes a pawn in a deadly game being played by the British security services.
The battles of colonial rule are, in the end, the conflict between the powerful and the powerless and those battles can be as deadly on the streets of London as in the jungles of Borneo or on the plains of India. Back Home in England, Williamson faces his most dangerous enemy yet.
A 99p/99c offer on Cawnpore
All of the books in the John Williamson Papers stand alone, but if you want to see how Williamson changes as a result of his experiences, you might enjoy reading the trilogy in order. Each one leads directly into the next, so Cawnpore ends with him landing back in Devon and Back Home starts with his journey from the port to the farm where he was born. If you want to read Cawnpore before you read Back Home, I’m offering it for just 99p for one week from Monday (15 November).