Inspector Ghote Breaks an Egg (Keating)

  • By H.R.F. Keating
  • First published: UK: Collins, 1970; US: Doubleday, 1971

One of the author’s more minimalist tales.  Ghote, disguised as a commercial traveller in eggs, is sent to a small town to investigate the fifteen-year-old murder of the town boss’s wife, a process greatly complicated by corruption and a Swami starving himself to death.  Since the near-omnipotent murderer is known from the beginning, the problem is: how to prove it.  There is a great deal of interest in the slow-moving tale, and the reader sympathises so entirely with Ghote that his ultimate triumph is particularly satisfying.  One cannot help but feel, however, that his task would have been easier had he listened to the old woman so intent on talking to him.


Times Literary Supplement (9th October 1970): No doubt Mr. Keating’s books about Inspector Ghote will soon be banned in India as prejudicially realistic which, although he has never been there, they certainly are.  But at least we can enjoy them here, as we shall this latest in which the Inspector pads off to a corruptly run town to try to prove its boss guilty of a fifteen-year-stale killing.