Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book Review for BlogAdda: 'R.I.P' by Mukul Deva

Well.. first of all, my gratitude goes to BlogAdda for providing me this opportunity to review the latest book from the arsenal of Lashkar series fame Mukul Deva, R.I.P.


Background:

This novel is my first read among any of Mukul Deva's so many acclaimed ones out in the market. And now I know for sure why he is sometimes referred to as India's first military action thriller storyteller. As the back cover of the novel proclaims -- 

R.I.P. The Resurgent Indian Patriots. Self appointed guardians of a nation seething with anger at the endless scams and scandals rocking its very foundation. Vigilantes who vow to stop corrupt politicians and colluding civil servants. Even if it means killing them.


Characters:

The lead characters, i.e., Col. Krishna Athawale, Captain Raghav Bhagat, and Reena Bhagat are truly the essence of storytelling here. 

Rest of the characters of the K-team, as they are called (since the names of all the vigilante's of RIP group start with K) and CBI director Vinod Bedi, fit in perfectly with every scene progressing forward but have been given very less face value except maybe for Karan.

Not all characters are well-established but such ain't missed as the story has its own pace to follow.


Story: 

In author's own words: "Colonel Krishna Athawale and his team of Special Forces officers rally to protect the country from the enemy within. They call themselves the K-Team. And no one is safe from their deadly intent. Hellbent on stopping them is Raghav Bhagat, rogue para commando, gun for hire and Krishna’s bête noir. Caught in the crossfire is Vinod Bedi, Special Director CBI. Reena Bhagat, a glamorous news anchor, embittered by her husband’s betrayal. And two young boys, Sachin and Azaan, torn apart by the loss of a parent. It doesn’t get bigger."

This pretext is sufficient enough to guess the theme of this novel. Colonel Krishna is the head of K-team. An early-retired Special Forces officer, he takes on himself to remove the corruption out of political and judiciary class thro' his special means (of taking them out of the equation of life), after the deaths of his wife and his brother-n-law owing to corruption issues remarkably prevalent in Indian political class. Captain Raghav Bhagat, a corrupt and rogue paratrooper, is handed over the responsibility outside system to capture and kill the assassins, the RIP. That said, it's like the right guys are going for right thing but by not-so-right means, and the wrong guy is wrongly given the duty to rightly pursue the right guys. Whole lot of interesting characterization from the start, isn't it!

RIP as it is, Resurgent Indian Patriots, acts as a vigilante group to give a hard lesson to the corrupt in power in order to bring a stop their nefarious scams and make them resign and bring all black money back to India. This all at a time when non-violent anti-corruption protests are being observed on a large scale under the leadership of a Gandhian, Hazarika.

The story starts directly with the action of killing vital aides of a few most corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. And the thrill starts when RIP sends out killing threats for its next set of victims (amusingly, they aren't victims at all :P). The planning and precision of taking out the next three targets in 3 days and their chase by Capt. Bhagat hired by corrupt home minister constitutes the most part of the first half of the novel. The second half picks up pace when the govt. still doesn't take any action against the scam-guilty and RIP plan to kill the most important target which will cause tremor in the heart of the nation, and CBI director Vinod Bedi (clueless most of the times about RIP) finally getting some clues in to who is behind it all.

Amidst all this, the human interest (in author's words only, when I met him at a recent Bangalore bookclub meet) is taken care of by the isosceles love triangle between the two lead males and Reena, ex-wife of Capt. Bhagat. The blossoming relationship between Krishna and Reena is quite romantically captured as well as the doubts in their minds about their future together speak out very well.

What happens at the end? Who wins and how? Does RIP get successful in making their intent visible to the political high command? To find out all these interesting twists, pick & start reading RIP asap.


Likes:

The measured writing Deva has provided just to make the storytelling quite believable and authentic too

Fast paced full-Indian military action adventure

The chase and hunt game between K-team, ex-Capt. Bhagat, and CBI is the actual page-turner

No unnecessary raunchiness put up in the story


Expectations/Dislikes:

Writing, I should say, is quite amusing and so many real life people and actual scams have been taken fictitiously used throughout the book, that at first it is hilarious but after sometime, it starts feeling like an overuse of it.

And that the whole setting has been fictitiously taken from the recently real life scenario in India sends a wave of a lack of a bit of originality in the minds of readers.

Plus, overall it seems that the novel is written as a ready-made Bollywood story, just waiting to be launched as a movie, which should not be the case with a novel as I think.


Well, nevertheless, the novel is author's thrilling treat to us, and I, as a matter of fact, really liked it.


Overall, 3.75 out of 5 stars :)


P.S. -- This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com . Participate now to get free books!
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