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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Evoking the exotic culture and racial tensions of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), in the early and mid-20th century, de Kretser offers a beguiling story of an ambitious man whose own weaknesses crush his dreams of glory.
Sam Obeysekere is born in Ceylon to a privileged family. His father is an adviser to the British colonials, and Sam is educated at Oxford, returning home to practice law. When he's approached to give his thoughts on the Hamilton case, a shocking murder under investigation, Sam is flattered by the request and handily declares an Englishman guilty of the crime. But his accusation will have devastating consequences, and Sam will spend the rest of his life with the knowledge that his involvement in the Hamilton case precipitated the derailment of his future.
The Hamilton Case is not only an intriguing whodunit but also a powerful psychological novel. Sam's pride of accomplishment masks a deep insecurity, and his ego suffers further injuries when he jealously watches others attain what he has longed for. A Sri Lankan who moved to Australia as a teenager, de Kretser hails from a corner of the world few readers know well. Her story of the flawed hero, Sam, combined with her depiction of Ceylon, makes for a remarkable book, both classic and fresh. (Summer 2004 Selection)