Forty years ago, auditor Joki de Souza disappeared in the sweltering jungles of southern India, during the Hindu festival of Nag Panchami. Whilst pursuing accounting irregularities in the Mansholi estate of the Sarpal Tea Corporation, it is as though he heard a whisper in the dark – enough to raise his suspicions, but not his guard…
In a profession that thrives on precision and complete records, there are curious gaps and irregularities that can’t be resolved. Joki de Souza disappeared, that much is known, but exactly when and how is hidden. Now decades have passed, and time is no friend of the truth.
Joki’s story is pieced together through interviews, scraps of diary-entries, faded sketches in old notebooks and the half-remembered whispers of old men. The Speckled God is a story of deified snakes and dark idols, of the cult of Mother Jakkamma and the dangers of misunderstanding the world’s isolated places.
The Speckled God by Marc Joan
The Speckled God by Marc Joan is such a great mystery that feels almost like a Conan Doyle story. Joan does a tremendous job creating an air of mystique around the Mansholi estate and surrounding jungle village. The prose is fantastically lush and descriptive, setting the atmosphere. The author’s use of story framing via interviews and investigative digging enhances the intrigue, while engaging the reader in the story. You want to know more, know what happened, which is amazing considering how short the novelette is. You find yourself invested in Joki’s life and want to know what happened to him. Want to know whose sinister plans led him to his death. It’s just such a great mystery that is incredibly well written.