Blurb: An upright judge is used as a pawn by the terrorists to hijack a plane. The militants strike with vengeance to free their most dangerous fidayeen from the Indian prisons, as they hold a hundred passengers in the plane to ransom. Calling the shots for jihadis from Pakistan is once upon a time the right hand man of Osama Bin Laden and now the most dangerous terrorist in the world, Muhammad Zia ul Afridi. With the Prime Minister in a soup, there is only one man to stop the diabolical scheme of the dreaded jihadis—Vikram Roy, chief Secretary of RAW, a dashing young man of action. As the Prime Minister is about to surrender the prisoners, Vikram Roy discovers the most shocking truth about activities inside the RAW. The weary nation holds its breath as the fate of a hundred hostages and the prisoners hangs in a limbo. However, the events that are about to follow are so unforeseen that they shock everyone to the core.
About the author: Hrishikesh Joshi is a twenty-one year old, reluctant engineering student. Inspired by a placard on an airport he thought of a means to hijack a plane and wrote a story about it. He is a Taekwondo Black Belt, National Referee, an astrophysics enthusiast, studies psychology, loves backpacking in the Himalayas and lives in Pune with his parents, sister and a very jumpy German shepherd. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Review: The storyline of this book Checkmate is same as many Hindi movies with thriller element. The book is fast paced; there was no boring moment while reading the story. Just like any other suspense book I thought the book would have a similar ending but the twist in the end was amazing. A debutant author attempting suspense/thriller genre was a nice challenge. The author has been highly influenced by two modern matters of global interest – 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. From these international matters, the author wrote the story which has the full potential of being a bollywood movie. The story line is original and the thought of the author has reached its peak to come out with such a suspense story which is appealing and can impart visual effect to the reader. A small gist of the story line goes like – 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.” Sometimes the narration of the story has gone dry and I did not feel it kept to the interesting nature of the previous chapters. Some where it directly killed the suspense of the plot. I feel the characters should have been given more importance and depth without highlighting on their background. Over all a good read and I do recommend this. Good luck to Hrishikesh Joshi for his future books.
The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.
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