ISBN 978 1 84688 0360 Buy Amazon Mike Stocks’s critically acclaimed and award winning debut novel ‘White Man Falling’ looks at how the fortunes of many can be changed by random events, and how other people view those events. RM Swaminathan (Swami) is a retired police-man, coming to terms with life following a stroke. He cannot talk properly, he no longer commands the respect of his community, and he cannot afford the dowries that his beloved six daughters deserve. When a white man falls from a hotel window, and dies on the crowded streets, it is Swami who is the last man he sees when he lies dying. It is Swami who becomes a laughing stock, but when he tries to commit suicide under a bus, and he is warned to stay away from the Police Investigation, it is the heart attack that sees him in hospital, and it is whilst he is in a coma that people start believing he is blessed, and is spending his time walking with God. Swami becomes something a guru, offering hope to the many who visit him, and become convinced that his hours of silence are him meditating with a high force. The book also considers Swami’s six daughters, and the courtship between his eldest daughter Jodhi, and Mohan, the outwardly successful, but dull and charmless son of a local family, when it is Mohan’s brother, Anand, a hopeless poet, who spends more of his days sleeping than is absolutely necessary that Jodhi loves. The book is very good at describing family live, with the lives of Swami, his wife Amma, and their six daughters being well drawn, but the interference of Swami’s new standing within the community invades the once private life of the eight family members. The Police cover-up of the falling White Man is shown to be corrupt, with money from the Hotel’s owner being used to change the facts, but in spending time with Swami, the three police men involved in the case soon see the errors of the ways. The book ends with the lives of Swami and his family being completely changed. They live in an estate that is provided by the Chief of Police, which is many time bigger than the small apartment that the eight of them shared at the beginning of the novel. Swami goes for months between words, but it is silence that the community believes confers some wisdom to him.