I had read of H.R.F.Keating and anyone whose father had named him with the hope that he become an author was, at least, of interest. The Perfect Murder is an introduction to the police of India. While reading it you keep saying to yourself, yes; this rings true; I can imagine this kind of difficulty with this kind of person; I can see myself walking down this street sipping this sweet drink.
The difficulty with the book is probably my difficulty. I am moderately interested in someone who has conquered his own environment, especially if I'm familiar with it. When I'm not and I'm faced with a man who has shaped himself to live in strange surroundings in a strange way, the difficulties are large. I have to be sympathetic to the man, in this case Inspector Ghote, and although his work is police procedure and his young son and somewhat stereotypically shrewish (yet beautiful) wife have all his love, they didn't manage to capture all of mine -- even though I love police procedurals and 'complicated' women.
Neither did his foreign attachment, a brash, loud Scandinavian man from other police forces ostensibly learning India's ways and ultimately playing an integral part in the story.
The story itself revolves around a wealthy Indian entrepreneur and his secretary. How Ghote deals with them, and they with him, is the crux of the plot. It is well presented as are all elements of the book, but the elements don't seem to fuse well. There I was in India, walking the streets, talking the talk, but not living the life. How can I make it clearer? I still read everything from English detective fiction to American fantasy, to Booker prize winners to nineteenth century novels of manners -- or not -- all with great joy. Inspector Ghote doesn't fit me, I'm afraid.
Who does? Let me just throw out Connie Willis and Jane Austen. Worlds apart, but oh, those worlds.