Review : The Hamilton Case by Michelle de Kretser

October 19, 2013
Author: Michelle de Kretser
Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition
Rating: ★★★★☆
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The Hamilton Case is a page-turner, and a must-read for mystery lovers.

When we were children, we had several dreams; To build sand fortresses, to be a princess, to fly to the moon. But what was the most enticing thing we ever planned?

It was to solve crimes like the Hardy Boys, Nancy drew, Famous five or Secret seven. Whenever there was a rumour about a robbery in the neighbourhood, we would daydream of solving it.

This novel, The Hamilton case is about one such person who is the ‘self appointed Sherlock Holmes’-Sam Obeysekere, a lawyer in colonial Ceylon.

Author, Michelle de Krester, an Australian novelist born in Sri Lanka has delivered a masterpiece in the genre of Crime novels. This book not only tells a grippping crime story but also expresses a very unique perspective into the impact colonialism has on the world.

The strength of the English language which still prevails in the heart of the people, the desire of one man to attempt to solve murder mysteries like in Agatha Christie’s novel, the characterization of his strong-willed and arrogant mother, and that of his father as a typical rich man- all this with a murder plot paint a charming three-dimensional picture for the reader.

The first part of the book revolves around the protagonist, Sam. Educated at Oxford, soaking in the British environment, he is more English than the English. He is a person who is struggling for his own identity in the world and whose shoulders are burdened by family secrets. The crucial event in Sam’s life was his chance of solving the Hamilton murder case: Who murdered a British planter when he was returning home with his month’s wages one late night?

Initially, some Ceylonese labourers are suspected to have committed the crime with a motive to rob, until Sam proves otherwise. It can be best described as a “Page Turner”. It embodies the socio-economic problems and combines it with such impeccable lyrical language that a reader just can’t get enough. This novel compels reader to read one chapter after another. Overall, a must read for mystery lovers.


  • Shashikant Nishant Sharma October 19, 2013 at 3:07 AM

    This is really a
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    • Rashi October 23, 2013 at 5:11 PM

      Thank u shashikant

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