front_karachi deception

‘The Karachi Deception’ is Shatrujeet Nath’s first novel. In the past he has delved into business journalism and was the Assistant Editor at Economic Times. This novel is published by Grey Oak Publishers in combination with Westland Books and seems to be another addition to the list in the growing and upcoming military thriller genre in India. Does it work? Let’s check it out.

The blurb goes like this –

Project Abhimanyu – an audacious plot hatched by the RAW and the Indian Army intelligence to assassinate Mumbai’s dreaded underworld don Irshad Dilawar, who’s hiding in Pakistan and assisting the ISI in its proxy war against India.

Major Imtiaz Ahmed is picked to lead the special ops mission deep inside Pakistan – but the ISI and Dilawar are several steps ahead of the Indians. Beaten at every turn, Major Imtiaz is faced with the horrifying realization that Project Abhimanyu has been compromised…and his men are being lured into a deadly trap.

Set against the backdrop of global terrorism, Shatrujeet Nath’s debut novel is a quintessential spy thriller where nothing is what it seems – and treachery is a constant companion.

The book has an interesting cover page which gives quite a good idea of what to expect inside. The font and the quality of the paper is immaculate as is normally the case with other books by this publishing house.

The concept is refreshing and keeps you interested. The story is contemporary, captivating and gripping all throughout. As the plot moves ahead, you cannot put down the book even for a minute. The story moves across countries like Mali, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Oman etc. at a feverish pace. There’s never a point where the reader would feel bored or dreary.

Shatrujeet also deserves to be lauded at the way he’s described each of the locations. The tons of research put in shows through as the reader can actually feel that he / she is at that particular place. The narrative is finely balanced between conversations and descriptions of places, people and situations. They are no needless subplots or characters which may slow down the pace or take the story in some other direction.

The USP of the story is undoubtedly the subject. Whether its talking of the Mumbai underworld or ISI or how Pakistan supports the proxy war against India, Shatrujeet has got the right subject for his debut novel. This is sure to attract a strong readership. The story moves in twists and turns and just when you expect a particular climax you are left stunned with what happens.

The characters are all beautifully etched. Major Imtiaz is the hardworking and dedicated soldier who can go to any length to do what’s right for his country. Lieutenant Rafiq is a newbie. But he has a sharp mind and can do a lot more than one thinks he can. Captain Shamsher is also an upright and courageous soldier whose always ready to support Imtiaz in the tasks he has set out for. Musa Zawawi as the Algerian warlord, Hossain Kamil as the assassin, General Niazi of Pakistan, Colonel Mohan and General Dixit who were part of the the Indian army responsible for ensuring the audacious plot goes to plan are some of the other important characters.

As far as negatives are concerned, to be honest I couldn’t find ANY.

All in all, a riveting thriller with a fantastic plot. This one is surely up there in the league of the Tom Clancy series. Don’t miss it!

Rating – 4.5/5