Thrillers on the lines of Sam Bourne, Fredrick Forsythe or Dan Brown are common place in any Indian bookstore these days. Breathtaking plots, incredible plots and semi-real contexts sum up most of the crime thrillers that i have come across of late. What sets Mukul Deva’s novel R.I.P. (Resurgent Indian Patriots) apart from the multitude of other offerings in the market? Nothing, really. And that is the U.S.P. of this book.
The very first chapter gets you glued to the plot, which moves at lightning speed. Although a work of fiction, the stark similarity to the current political discourse of India is evident. With half-hearted efforts by the author to give fictional names to people we always hear of in the news, the story begins with three political murders and how they change the course of history of the nation, at least in this fairy tale.
India is riddles with corruption, and thanks to the advent of alternate media in the recent past, we have been granted access to a vast resource of information. Public anger has reached a boiling point and often do we feel its time for action to make things work in this country. After a media-driven mass awakening 2 years back in Delhi, led by a “Gandhian” activist, the nation has slid back into a lull again, save the recent protests against Delhi Rape. Mukul Deva’s book is a reflection of this public anger.
Well etched-out characters and snazzy details make this thriller even more pacy and addictive. The writer’s background with the armed forces might have come in handy, because the small little details of guerrilla attacks and military warfare, as described in the book, would be known to someone who’s trained in it.
A group of ex-army-men decide to avenge the rampant corruption by politicians and restore the democracy back to the people. They decide to attack three influential yet corrupt people in the seat of power in the three wings of the Indian state. Without a shade of doubt their actions create ripples within the system and a massive manhunt is ordered against them. However, with immense efficiency, the group which calls itself RIP continues to evade arrest and carry out their biggest strike ever. To even imagine anything of that magnitude happening in reality sends shivers down my spine.
Struggling through several sub-plots – sex, anger, jealousy, death and sacrifice – R.I.P. finally manages to leave the reader in me satiated and wanting for more after i turn the last page. Just like Tagore had quipped “Sesh hoyeo hoilo na sesh” (it leaves the scent of the aromatic food in the mouth, making me crave for more). Undoubtedly, the novel is a good flight-time read and can be finished in five hours if you can read non-stop.
My Rating: 3.5/5 🙂
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