First published in 1951, The Nightrunners of Bengal is one of John Masters’ series of seven novels which followed several generations of the Savage family serving in the British Army in India.
Nightrunners of Bengal focuses on the Indian Rebellion of 1857. The central character, Captain Rodney Savage, is an officer in a Bengal Native Infantry regiment, based in the fictional city of Bhowani. When rebellion breaks out, the British community in Bengal is shattered. Savage’s empathy for the Indians is shaken, as the British try to discover who is loyal to them and who is not.
One of the great novels of India, Nightrunners of Bengal combines John Master’s mastery of story-telling with an intuitive sense of history. This was the first novel that Masters wrote in the series, though not the first novel chronologically, and alongside Bhowani Junction is one of his best-known works.