'Having come of age on the island nation of Ceylon, Sam Obeysekere is a lawyer whose life is guided by the British culture that dominates his homeland. Educated at Oxford, with a dazzling career in his sights, Sam is more English than the English. Only his flamboyant, unruly mother, exiled to a jungle estate, reminds him of his family's real heritage and a different set of home truths. Sam's undoing arrives in the form of the Hamilton case, a scandalous murder that shakes the upper echelons of island society. Guided by grandiose visions of Sherlock Holmes, he becomes convinced he can solve the mysterious case - and that his good standing with the English will insulate him from the unrest the case has exposed. In the end, Sam grapples with a life that has been "a series of substitutions," the darkest of human misfortunes.'--BOOK JACKET.