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It is a drama in the air and a cat and mouse game involving India’s security and the fundamentalists.
It is a high voltage game where suspense and thrill will make you compel to fasten your seat belt from the take off ……….
It is a brilliant move of chess by some invisible mastermind…………..
It is a Checkmate- a fresh suspense thriller by Hrishikesh Joshi.
Two contemporary matters of international interest has visibly inspired the writer in writing the book-the first, is the hijack of Air India flight IC 814 by Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, a Pakistan-based Islamic extremist group and storming of the Jinnah International Airport by five assailants. A thriller was craved out by the writer from these international matters, which has every potential to be converted into an excellent Bollywood suspense movie. It is the sheer speed of the story- no, not as fast as a supersonic, but as fast as a racing car -that will give this newly released story an edge…..
In spite of being influenced by two matters of international relations-the world of the creation belongs to the creator only. The story line is original and the imagination has reached its zenith to produce a suspense story which is appealing and can impart visual effect to the reader.
Let us come to the story then. Justice Shastry-the chief justice of Mumbai High court was used as a pawn by some unknown men to hijack a London bound plane. Despite slight weakness for women, Justice Shastry is honest and truly a pride of his profession. But the unknown people had used a bait that is worthy of compelling him doing anything in the world-they had captured her dear wife. When he first got the kidnapper’s call, he felt
“His brains seemed to have jammed. He desperately hoped that he was in some kind of a nightmare. But he recovered fast. He gave the head a good shake and stood up quickly. He crossed silently as pain shot through his remaining right leg where the artificial one was attached; he paced the room twice, summoned his butler and asked him to hail a rickshaw.”
The writer has shown promise in depicting the characters-their emotional haven, their attachment, their mental ups and downs! Language is first paced and narration, as I have told earlier has given a cinematic effect to the reader.
At first he thought it was a call for ransom, but his thought was short lived. Soon he discovered what he was to perform and was frozen in terror…..
And inside the plane he did exactly the same that was told him to do-
“He made his way to seat number 13A whose occupant was a round spectacled man, tall dark and sporting a typical Islamic goatee. The man got up and extended his hand, his expression lethal, venomously determined. Shastry handed him the two pistols.”
But who are they and why they are making such desperate move to hijack a plane-risking their own lives in the gamble? Trail leads the reader to a conspiracy- a conspiracy by a mastermind from Pakistan to destabilise India’s security and
“Three of our fidyaeen still rot in Indian jails. And they shall be freed, Insallah, we shall free them.” And he told them the plan.”
Is there any hope? Is there any light a t the end of the tunnel, to free hostage from the clutches of the most brutal, most fanatic insurgency groups that the world has ever witnessed. And that too without risking India’s threat to internal security…….
The Government of India is at bay, the external affairs ministry is a mere spectator….
And then appears the savoir- the dashing Vikram Roy, chief secretary of RAW and as precondition of the rule of the game-whose identity is shrouded in mystery. A tantalising investigation leading to the brutal murder of three of his undercover agents leads him to the linking with a bigger conspiracy- a conspiracy that is enough to shake the nation.
But there are questions to be answered- how? When? Who? Answers lead Vikram to a shadowy world where his comrade- in-arms may turn out to be a betrayer- playing an evil game to make the nation facing a threat.
Or was he?
Unpredictability throughout of the book gives readers an enthralling experience all along, they seriously deserve-where unexpected truth gets revealed towards the climax and…..
And as the old saying goes, evil may lie on your own streets or may not. You have to find, to detect……detection power of somebody made this book a really enjoyable read……..
Now who is that somebody?
Let it be left to the reader to be discovered, because revealing too much will play a spoilsport.
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