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February 3, 2013

Book Review - 114 : RIP

Author : Mukul Deva
Publisher : Westland

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. 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. Team is a self appointed guardian of nation and is fed up of current political structure, corruption and scenario of the country. They want Jan Lokpal bill to be passed and a lot of other demands which they keep in front of GOI and want them act on them immediately. And no one is safe from their deadly intent which is illustrated by three murders committed in three days with prior hints given about the targets.

Hellbent on stopping the K-team is Raghav Bhagat, rogue para commando, gun for hire and Krishna’s bĂȘte 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. Playing across various plot lines and back stories, the narrative unfolds briskly and gives you various high points which stays with you. 

The reason for the whole insurgency is something with which we can all relate to - corruption portrayed by the wily politicians and the influence of such douche bags on the Indian society and economy. The author cleverly mixes the fact and the fiction with almost all the characters pulled out directly from the Indian army and political milieu with names changed, of course. You are always second guessing who is who in the middle of some strong ideas and action against the wrong doers.

The personal turmoil the people involved in defense might face has been portrayed very delicately. The acute qualities they develop, the amazing sensory abilities they possess is just aptly described. The angst of losing a beloved, the anxiety of a bad relationship, the joy of finding new love, the blind trust shared between the team, the connection between true friends, the stress even kids go through is all excellently rendered by the author. 

But the narrative slows down when the writer concentrates too much on brewing romance between the two lead protagonists which takes away from the fast pace of the thriller. There is also a lack of closure on lot of the characters in the climax and epilogue seems poorly etched out with specific details about the K-Team deliberately edited out in the hope of a sequel to the book.

So, that's 3.5/5 for Mukul Deva's 'R.I.P'. Barring a few sentimental detours, it is a hard hitting thriller which is fast paced and keep you turning pages as you go along. It is a crime thriller with comes with a solid ideology with it. Worth your time and money!

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