The deadline for this review was 15 August, India’s Independence Day, freedom at midnight in 1947 for India and Pakistan (whose independence is celebrated on 14 August). The British euphemistically called it a ‘transfer of power’. The subsequent division was termed Partition, an anodyne definition of the act of severing. Centuries of surrender and snatching of the Koh-i-Noor saw many transfers of power. Graphic descriptions of torture and murder in this absorbing and timely book are an early mirror for the bloodshed and horror of Partition.