Posted in Books

Book Review: RIP, by Mukul Deva

About the author:
Mukul Deva is a best-selling author, noted for the spy-military thrillers on terrorism and action. His most famous works include Lashkar, Salim Must Die, Blowback and Tanzeem.

Impressions off the back-cover:
A thriller based in India, with a group of people trying to bring attention to bring attention to the state of corruption and politics etc. by killing some of those corrupt politicians and people. There are people trying to stop them, as expected and innocent people who might fall in their way, as is also expected. The description and cover design with a syringe, a bullet “I” and a soldier call for a fast-paced deep-set plot with lots of action.

My thoughts on the book:
In a crime thriller novel, the hero is a good person trying to stop the villains from reigning terror or killing good people. There is the thrill of a kill and that too at regular intervals. The pace of the novel is fast, and enthralling. It keeps you from putting a bookmark and stopping the read for a while. In the end, it might even leave you breathless.

RIP, by Mukul Deva has a lot of those qualities. The good people, Colonel Krishna Athawale and his team, the K-Team or the Resurgent Indian Patriots (RIP) are hell-bent at stopping corrupt people from ruling the country and bringing it down, by bringing them down. The villains in this case are trying to stop them from killing the corrupt politicians who pay them heavily. They are led by rogue commando Raghav Bhagat.

The RIP start out with three executions done in similar manners within minutes of each other in different parts of the country, and then send out a mail taking responsibility and also warning the country of 3 more killings in the 3 days to follow. Soon after, a minister along with two other politicians (relatives of 2 victims) assembles his own strike team to stop RIP, also giving reports of the police leads to them. The excellent narration keeps us hooked to the story which is like a cat-and-mouse between RIP, the cops and the secret strike-team.

The sub-story also brings a romance element into the picture, and it is dealt with very nicely without hindering the thrill part of the plot. The military details have been given due diligence given their delicate nature and the characters sketched very nicely.

Overall opinion:
“You can smell the gunpowder. Such is the power of the words of Deva.” – The Hindu

I don’t know if it was gunpowder but the book did have a distinct scent to it. The book is a page turner for sure. The action is literally throughout the book. I don’t find any characters that are there for the sake of. Each character has been handled with care, their mindset and thoughts sketched well. It leaves us thinking if such a patriot can be real. This is the first time I’m reading Deva’s work. It is excellent. I’m certainly going to try and find more of his books to read.

Rated a 9/10
Rated a 9/10

Book Details:
Title: RIP
Author: Mukul Deva
Genre: Crime Thriller
ISBN: 978-93-82618-19-5
Price: INR 200
Publishers: Westland


This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!
The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. This is not a paid review.

Also for the Indian Quills Reading Challenge at Tales Pensieve, First Reads Challenge at b00kr3vi3ws, Alphabet Challenge at A Bookworm’s Musing.

(January 30th, 2013)

Posted in Books

#BookReview: 14 Hours by Ankur Chawla

Impressions off the back-cover:
It is a non-fiction book. What it says is what I should get. A recollection of memories, albeit some that aren’t memorable for the entire country, let alone me, or maybe even the author. For once, I think I cannot have expectations on the book, for no one can expect anything from reality. If anything life has taught me so far, sometimes even life as we live it can seem incredible.

My thoughts on the book:
When I first read the excerpt from the book 14 Hours: An Insider’s Account of the 26/11 Taj Attack, I hesitated, but only for a moment, before taking up the opportunity to read and review it. Like I said, the attack being etched into the hearts of the entire nation, I wondered if it would be worth it living it all over again.

I remember a dialogue from the Castle series that was something like, “When something like that happens, it is etched into the heart. I cannot forget it even if I want to”. I don’t remember the exact dialogue, but as a poet and writer, I can understand the sentiment that when something untoward or bad happens in our life, one of the best ways is to express it. It becomes a tear that must come out, lest it burden the eyes with its stay. When you witness death, it changes you, especially if it was at a place where, and at a time when it’d be the one thing you never expect. So witnessing a murder would be something else. Ankur Chawla was inside the Taj when the events of 26/11 unfolded, and he saw a terrorist shoot a guy, and the guy crumple down. Through his words, I could see that in slow motion, and it wasn’t something I liked imagining. His book introduces in vivid detail – the Taj and its restaurants, his friends, and his family, how he came to be at the Taj, and how events unfolded on that fateful day.

It’s always important not to panic in any situation that’s not going your way, and keep calm. Some of the staff trying their best not to let their fear out, so others will not panic either, and showing their clout with trying to crack jokes even in that situation, these little things did matter. Ankur Chawla brings all these little things out through his narration, and not to mention the worry, the mentality to handle such an impossible situation, the emotions they went through and possibly still are going through. This is a book with life and death in it, even coincidence, or a strange sense of dejavu or fate. We praise all the rescue operation soldiers who fought the terrorists on 26/11 and after to end the three day hell for the nation. After this book, I think there are many more heroes who we don’t know of.

Overall impressions:
It’s hard to bring memories etched on one’s heart on to paper; the hardest memories are the toughest to write. Whatever happened that day, and that what we knew of, that moved us beyond anything else. This is the inside story, from the eyes and recollections of one who was there. It is said as it needs to, the tone is there, yet it isn’t all seriousness, with that touches of life’s humor given here and there. A book that is a tribute to the heroes of 26/11, both seen and unseen; 14 hours is a good read, but fair warning, if you have a strong imagination, or still, like many of us, cannot live that night all over again, this might not suit your reading preference.

Rated a 7 on 10!
Rated a 7 on 10!

Book details:
Title: 14 Hours – An Insider’s Account of the 26/11 Taj Attacks
Author: Ankur Chawla
Genre: Non Fiction
Price: INR 195
ISBN: 9788129120656
Publishers: Rupa


This review is a part of the Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!
The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. This is not a paid review.

Also as part of the Indian Quills at Tales Pensieve.

(’12, Dec 08)