Baramulla Bomber

Baramulla Bomber
Author: Clark Prasad
Publisher: Niyogi Books
Number of Pages: 315
Price: Rs 395

When I first read about Baramulla Bomber I was intrigued. One, because I've read some great trilogies over the recent years (this too is Eka, part I of a Trilogy) and two, because the concept of the book sounded very interesting.

It is an ambitious novel to say the least, spread across multiple countries – Sweden, Norway, the USA and closer home Pakistan, China and India.

It is peppered with characters as diverse as ever - a Kashmiri cricket player, a Swedish intelligence agent, a Pakistani scientist, an Indian Defence Minister and many many more.

It has international relations, politics, border skirmishes, religion and even some cricket thrown in for good measure. 

What more could one ask for?

The plot:
A blast is heard in Kashmir’s Shaksgam valley that flattens out an entire area.
A dying Swedish agent leaves a coded message before he succumbs to mysterious injuries.
A mountaineering team disappears without a trace.

Indian agencies suspect a secret weapon was tested in the valley. Pakistani sources insist it was a mining accident while others say it was an earthquake.
If it was a weapon what kind was it? If Pakistan is readying to use it how can it be stopped? Was it the same that killed the Swedish spy? Those are the questions that are bothering India’s Defence Minister Agastya Rathore. But Pakistan is not his only worry, China is readying for an offensive at India’s borders too.

And amongst all this is Mansur – a simple Kashmiri man who dreams of being a part of the National Cricket team without ever really believing it possible.

The review:
The novel is pacey and you do find yourself turning the pages eagerly enough. And here's a warning - This is not a book you can read with the kids running around or the TV blaring. So if you really want to enjoy it look out for a quiet corner.

My problem with the book is it's climax. The buildup is exciting but the climax is a bit of a letdown. Perhaps due to the nature of the weapon, it doesn’t leave as huge an impact as promised by the beginning. I found myself saying “Is that it?”

Also, although there are a number of characters, the books loses out for lack of a single, charismatic all impacting hero and on the other side there is no single truly malicious, malevolent villain.  That’s purely a personal view -  that’s how I like a book to be.. specially a thriller.

Then there are some unanswered question?
What were those UFOs?
What’s the story of Agastya’s wife?
Are the members of the mountaineering team dead or alive?
When the guardians meet – if the meeting was such a huge secret - how come an outsider was near the site?

Of course there are Part 2 and 3 in the offing. I’m hoping I’ll get my answers then.

This review is part of Blogadda's Book Review Programme.

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