Books: Formula: Literary Guild

NIGHTRUNNERS OF BENGAL (339 pp.)—John Masters—Viking ($3).

The merchants, soldiers and women of the British community in India had little sense of what lay in store for them, those last days of 1856, on the eve of the Sepoy Mutiny. Even sturdy Captain Rodney Savage, 13th Rifles, Bengal Native Infantry, was slow to understand the signs and undercurrents: holy gurus croaking to the crows, the native nightrunners who were carrying from village to village the bread and goat-flesh symbols of Shiva, god of destruction.

As the hero of a blood & thunder historical novel, Rodney could certainly have paid more attention than he...

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