A sack of letters lost in a train crash nineteen years before has mysteriously reappeared, and the inhabitants of a little town in Pakistan are waiting to see what long-buried secrets will come to light. Could the letters have any bearing on Judge Anwar's murder? District Commissioner Azhar is in charge of the investigation but the rumour that he is living in sin with a Christian woman intrigues the townsfolk more than the threat of the letters or even the murder itself: especially the men who, one after another, contrive to bring this scandal to the attention of their devout and ageing priest. SEASON OF THE RAINBIRDS is a novel full of memories and shadows: light years away from the stridency of most contemporary fiction. But in its quiet way and through the sharp lyricism of the writing which makes every sight, sound and smell come alive, Nadeem Aslam has created an exotic and timeless world where the rumble of faraway civil wars, assassinations and changing regimes forms a disquieting background to the traditional rituals of daily life.