A Disappearance In Fiji by Nilima Rao


A Disappearance In Fiji by Nilima Rao is an absolutely marvellous historical debut novel that I just could not put down.

The action is set in Fiji as we follow an Indian police sergeant, sent from Hong Kong, to help set up a working police force in Fiji. Unfortunately, at the police force’s head is a racist white man. The year is 1914 and it is white men who rule. Their word is law, it comes above the truth, as he would rather reports be rewritten than the truth to reign.

We witness a character having a crisis of conscience – tell the truth? Or toe the line? He must be able to live with his decision and to hold his head up high.

There is much racial prejudice and injustice within the novel. This should make us angry at the terrible conditions and treatment dished out to the Indian people – whether they were police officers or indentured servants. Everyone was judged on the colour of their skin and their gender. Very few saw the hearts that beat beneath the skin.

Indian women as indentured servants working on the plantations were treated abominably. Not only were they worked to death but were sexually abused by white overseers, who believed they were above the law.

This is an upsetting read. The prejudices and hate are beyond awful – there are no words. This is a powerful read. We need to be informed as to what happened. As a white woman, I am totally ashamed and horrified by the treatment dished out to the Indian people of Fiji by the white ruling men.

This book is a social commentary on the times. We need to know about the past and make sure we do not repeat the horrors.

Thank you Nilima Rao for educating us in your powerful debut novel, A Disappearance In Fiji.

I received a free copy via Rachel’s Random Resources for a blog tour. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.


A Disappearance in Fiji

1914, Fiji: Sergeant Akal Singh would rather be anywhere than this tropical paradise – or, as he calls it, ‘this godforsaken island’. After a promising start to his police career in Hong Kong, Akal has been sent to the far-flung colony of Fiji as punishment for a humiliating professional mistake. Lonely and embarrassed, he dreams of solving a big case, thereby redeeming himself and gaining permission to leave. Otherwise, he fears he will be stuck in Fiji for ever.

When an indentured Indian woman goes missing from a sugarcane plantation and Fiji’s newspapers scream ‘kidnapping’, the inspector-general reluctantly assigns Akal the case, giving him strict instructions to view this investigation as nothing more than cursory. But as soon as Akal arrives on the plantation, he identifies several troubling inconsistencies in the plantation owners’ stories, and it seems there is more to this disappearance than meets the eye . . .

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Disappearance-Fiji-charming-historical-mystery-ebook/dp/B0BX3GG44R/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Disappearance-Fiji-charming-historical-mystery-ebook/dp/B0BX3GG44R/

Author Bio –

Nilima Rao is a Fijian Indian Australian who has always referred to herself as ‘culturally confused’. She has since learned that we are all confused in some way and now feels better about the whole thing. When she isn’t writing, Nilima can be found wrangling data (the dreaded day job) or wandering around Melbourne laneways in search of the next new wine bar. A Disappearance in Fiji is her first novel and she is currently working on a second.

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