Four weeks before the Babri Masjid is demolished, Delhi wakes up to accounts of India’s Secret History. Appearing daily as tantalizing pamphlets on the walls of the city’s residential neighbourhoods, Secret History claims to reveal India’s suppressed past. Rhetorical and rhythmic, dark and depressing, violent and vengeful – are these accounts true or fictional? Who writes the Secret History? These questions do not engage Rasheed Halim, who is grappling with the possibility of imminent death and cancer recurrence. He becomes a recluse, waiting to die, popping tranquillizers to get through his days. Not even a night of rioting, in which not a drop of blood is spilt, shakes him out of his melancholy. In desperation, he turns to a helpline, where a mysterious voice kindles in him the desire to live and join a band of people whose mission it is to identify the author of Secret History. The search takes Rasheed into a world where madness masquerades as rationality, suspicion is the impulse of human action, and politics and history are tools of torment forged in the fire of personal suffering. Is redemption possible in this world? What does it mean to return to lost thoughts? Does Rasheed encounter the author of Secret History? Thought-provoking and suspenseful, The Hour Before Dawn is the remarkable story of a terminally ill man’s search for meaning and his eventual quest to understand how deep the lust for blood runs.