Close on the heels of the thriving success of The Taj Conspiracy, Manreet Sodhi Someshwar is back with yet another adventure trail. The ‘Dan Brown’ of India, Sodhi takes us through one of the best thrillers ever written in Indian literature.The book chronicles the journey of Mehrunisa- an Iranian-Indian, trained in Renaissance art and Mughal history; who has an aristocratic look that masks a tenacious and strong-willed woman with a troubled past. The strings that were left untied in the first book of the trilogy – regarding Mehrunisa’s past – have been cleared in this segment.
It is difficult to be a woman in a man’s world, and I must congratulate Manreet for consolidating her space in the genre of thriller-writers. The research that has gone behind this book shows in the fact that one forgets they are reading a fictional novel, and not some secret dossier of the intelligence agency. Perfectly in sync with the geo-political situation in the sub-continent, the book stands out as a mystery thriller – with a difference.
While keeping the pace of the story intact, the author squeezes in a sub-plot of bitter-sweet love story between RP Singh and Mehrunisa. At times, small incidents – often narrated in the passing – become telling examples of how different the lives of people would have been if the powers that be laid their political games to rest. The biggest skill of Manreet is that her words paint the whole scene right in front of the eyes of the reader. One can never stop visualising the action in the eyes of the mind.
Although, i must concede, the plot – after reaching a crescendo – fizzles out in the final few chapters. I had this same problem with The Taj Conspiracy. Despite the twists in the tale, deft narration and precise characterisation, the hurry to wrap the show, kills the interest.
If the extra flab could have been got ridden of, and the climax rethought to some extent (without relying too much on coincidences), this book would have been flawless. However, read it for a great insight into the operations of the intel world.
My Rating: 4/5 stars
About the author
Manreet Sodhi Someshwar trained as an engineer, graduated from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, and worked in marketing, advertising and consulting. An award-winning writer (Commonwealth Broadcasting Association), and copywriter (Creative Abbey), she is a popular blogger as well.
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