04 February 2013

RIP- Mukul Deva- Book Review

I'm reading Mukul Deva for the first time, and well in all honesty, a book of this genre after eons. My last tryst with a thriller was Lie Down with the Lions from 1986, by Ken Follet. There are a few reasons I stay away from thrillers, one of them is the fact that thrillers do not allow room for character narratives, the way a novel would, and I'm a sucker for character narratives.

Overall the story is simple.  The story of the K-Team a group of Army officers, who rid this country of a few key members and incite some fear in the political class. Krishna is the protagonist, Raghav the antagonist and Vinod the cop, trying to do the right thing, but also keep himself safe. Embedded within the main plot, is the story of the love triangle between Reena, Krishna & Raghav.  The climax of the book shows the neat assassination (spoiler alert) of Ranvijay (Rahul Gandhi) and a clean getaway.

The thriller taps into the fantasy that a lot of us have, of bringing out a gun and ridding this country of the crazy people, we crazy people have voted into power. And the book is fast paced in the first half, linking back to various back stories that allow the story to move forward.


Overall this book will work absolutely find for a bus ride, a train ride or a flight. It may even be something that you want to read over a weekend, priced at Rs.200 it is definitely worth the price. I suggest that you do not use the book as a before sleep read, because, it manages to effectively draw you in, and you may just end up calling the office sick the next day!


The main gripe I had with the book was the second half. I felt that the sub plot of love, developed a little too late in the book for us to truly be invested in it. The other area of disconcert was the bit on authorial intent. There is a clear bi-focation between the good, the bad and the ugly in the book. In that, it manages to make the world black and white. And I disagree it is all as simple as that, the only character in the book that had the gray factor was Nandakumar, the hapless servant of the political class, who functions as the conflicted spy.

And the last gripe, is just me being super fussy. The thriller is an angry thriller, and rightfully so. Mukul's intention is to somehow provide a book of catharsis, that will help him and the rest of us absolve the anger at the government for all its inefficiencies, and everything. I just wish, that he'd had this done in Orwellian style, like a satire, instead of drawing his inspiration from the likes of Kalmadi, Laloo Prasad Yadav & Karunanidhi. Because essentially the names are different, but they're all the same. To reference Animal Farm: perhaps it would've been appropriate to class them all as a bunch of Pigs :)

In short, the idea is fantastic, and the execution is good too. I do think that, Mr Deva can do better than RIP, but for the short straw, definitely a catchy quick read that is enjoyable too.

Rating: 6/10

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