Title: The Hunt for the Kohinoor
Author: Manreet Sodhi Someshwar
Publisher: Westland Books
Number of pages: 425
It is astonishing to read a fast paced engaging thriller that races past in ninety six hours, without giving away the plot and reading in redundancy.
Her language was simple and lucid with connotative vocabulary in the narration. What held my attention was the protagonist and her daunting adventures, for the Indian fiction market such a character is the rarest of rare. It would make for a great bollywood script with thrilling elements like terrorism and national security in the picture. The story is set in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan with picturesque locales that leave you spellbound. The book begins at a snail's pace which gave the reader all the time in the world to get acquainted with the characters and their mannerisms.
Mehr the main protagonist suddenly discovers that her dead father is alive when a high profile politician of Pakistan gets murdered. Mehr is pushed to investigate the lives of people who are posing as a serious threat to national security.
Much like a Bollywood thriller, it has every kind of a character that a perfect racer of a thriller needs. The characters help the story to flow although the large number of characters crowd the plot, at certain places and make you confused.
I give the book 3/5, three for making my blood race. For a female protagonist, who never gives up in the most of trying of circumstances. A secret lover who adds a dash of sweetness to the plot. A barbaric antagonist who gives you the thrills and chills. And a ninety six hour plot, that was one of a kind.
Two points go away for the tens of characters who create a confusing conundrum of thoughts. The main protagonist's character wasn't sketched with the perfection I had expected and what saddened me more was someone else walking away with the piece of cake in the end. 'The Krishna Key' was another book where the main protagonist wasn't the show stopper. Again as in the 'Krishna Key' the protagonist's character gets lost amidst the other characters in the story. The sudden and unexpected twists and turns baffled me as well as the luck, Mehr was bestowed with. How can someone never fail, never have a dull moment and get all her cards right? Too good to be true.
I wished for a more interesting climax. Despite all the flaws the book is one of a kind. With a daring female protagonist and a ninety six hour plot that is a rarity in the Indian fiction market, this book did score a point with me.