Book Review of “Checkmate” by Hrishikesh Joshi


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

Genre: Adventure / Thriller / FBI / Terrorism
My Review:

Yet another Indian author comes up with an interesting mystery. Checkmate is a story on terrorist hijacking of a plane. When you start the story, it feels like any other Bollywood terrorist movie ever made. The start of the book is quick and to the point. As the story proceeds, the story takes a turn for interesting-ville. The twist in the story happens in the middle, unlike the stereotypical end. The twist is unexpected and really makes you read it again to understand where the story changed lines.
However, the narration is dry and does not manage to keep the interest alive, as much as the story deserves it. There is a monotonous feel to the way the story is told, which kills the joy of the suspense, very much like how typical History professors manage to kill the interesting historical events by their tone. The characters are not given enough depth but a bit too much background. There was some more potential for Vikram in the story, which could have been explored, instead of bringing in his love life.
Stars are definitely deserved by the story line, pace and the twist. So a 3 star rating in spite of the amazing thriller.

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