The front cover image of Thug, painted 1837
Never in recorded history has there been a group of murderers as deadly as the Thugs. For nearly two centuries, groups of these lethal criminals haunted the roads of India, slaughtering travellers whom they met along the way with such efficiency that over the years tens of thousands of men, women and children simply vanished without trace.
Thug is the result of three years of research in the voluminous archives of the English East India Company, preserved in London, New Delhi and Bhopal. It is not only the first popular history of Thuggee to be published in more than three decades but also the best researched and most reliable contribution to the understanding of this controversial subject. Mike’s wide reading in the latest academic studies, including recent articles and theses, help to make the book thoroughly up-to-date. Although written in his usual compelling narrative style, Thug is also good history. The book takes a close look at many popular conceptions regarding the Thugs and questions much of what has been written on the subject hitherto.