Fictional thrillers for a chilly weekend (Books This Weekend)
1. Book: The Avatari; Author: Raghu Srinivasan; Publisher: Hachette; Pages: 500; Price: Rs. 399
When Henry Ashton, a retired British Army officer settled in the Yorkshire dales, receives a letter from a monk entreating him to prevent a "hidden treasure" stolen from a Laotian monastery from being misused, he finds himself honour-bound to respond. Assisted by a retired Gurkha sergeant, a high-strung mathematician from Oxford with a Shambhala fixation of her own and an American mercenary on the CIA's hit list, Ashton's mission leads to an ancient map that dates to the time of the great Mongol, Kublai Khan.
The group follows the trail, risking the inhospitable deserts of Ladakh, turmoil in Pakistan and the rugged mountains of northern Afghanistan, where the Afghan War is at its height. But they are up against a deadly adversary with seemingly unlimited resources who will stop at nothing to get possession of the ancient secret - a secret that, if revealed, could threaten the very fabric of human civilization.
2. Book: The Bad Boys of Bokaro Jail; Author: Chetan Mahajan; Publisher: Penguin; Pages: 209; Price: Rs. 250
Unfairly arrested for fraud, the author is thrown into Bokaro jail in Jharkhand. A corporate professional, Mahajan encounters a world which is in stark contrast to his life in Delhi. From befriending people who can get him access to the mobile phone to those who can get upgraded food, Mahajan soon adapts himself to prison life.
The book is an eye-opener to India's underbelly and a thought provoking narrative of India's criminal justice system.
3. Book: Embers of Light and the Sacred Secret (Part 1); Author: Abhi; Publisher: Konark Publishers; Pages: 369; Price: Rs. 225
A strange Y-shaped symbol in the sky terrifies a mysterious alien race secretly living on earth for centuries and changes forever the fate of five human beings: a Brazilian street fighter, an American cop, a Chinese karate instructor, a Russian environmentalist and an Indian ad maker, Meanwhile, a geek in New York City is amazed to see his dreams grow more and more bizarre each day and meets an angel who isn't conventional in any way.
This is the story of how their destinies intertwine.
4. Book: Prisoner, Jailor, Prime Minister; Author: Tabrik C.; Publisher: Hachette India; Pages: 319; Price: Rs 350
India is on edge as a subversive internal revolt against the constitution and the threat of jehadi terror of an unthinkable level is looming on the horizon.
Ringing Shiva's damaru (handdrum) in and out of parliament, a sudden turn of karma catapults outsider Siddhartha Tagore - a conflicted genius, music maestro and prodigal son with forceful views on China and Pakistan - into national prominence as the head of an opposition alliance and finally as the prime minister of a distributed nation.
But buried secrets are being resurrected and threaten to expose the past. Twisted within the double helix of menacing politics and hidden lust, this book is a
scorching account of Siddhartha Tagore's fascinating journey from Harvard to 7 Race Course Road, the prime minister's residence.
(Posted on 21-03-2014)