Book Review: The Shadow Throne
Inspector Hassan: Tough, Intelligent with a hidden agenda... only thing is, is this agenda Pro-India, Pro-Pakistan, or...?
Chandra: Well-known freelance journalist, with a nose for trouble....
Meenakshi "Brains with Poise" Pirzada... need I say any more?
Nalini Pant: To Be Brutally Honest, this man is Brutal and Honest!
Gul Mohommad: Top ISI-Spy (And I mean Top), Hassan's cousin. (Did I hear an oh-o? No harm in drawing conclusions, my friends. Conclusions can be right, or wrong, right? Wrong! They can sometimes be confusing as well - like this sentence with its right-wrongs and wrong-rights)
This is one book where as overdose of analysis can kill the fun of reading, so I shall keep it short. It is an out-an-out spy thriller.It is a good book, with a reasonably fast pace that does not slacken from the first page till the last. What is more, there is not even a single expletive in the entire book from start to finish, not even a teensy-weensy little one, which makes it a truly great read. The characters are well-developed, with not a single bit of needless detail anywhere. Just the right amount of mystery in the main characters; with just the right amount being added at each stage, leading to increased curiosity as well as increased suspense. In other words, truly class character development. The writing style is simple, lucid and uncomplicated making for fun and light reading.
Yes, there are weaknesses. It is not in the class of a Day Of The Jackal; but then, very few books are. In fact, not one single book- east or west, will qualify to be as good as that. Having said that, I found the character development in this book to be among the best I have ever read. However, in my opinion, the hallmark of a truly great fiction book is it comes across as believable. Unfortunately, as you close the book, you do get a feeling that the story is a little over-the-top and unbelievable, of a lack of reality. Further, the entire Kushan section seems out of place. The novel could have been made a much racier and faster read without it. There could have been other ways to achieve the objective (role in the story) assigned to the Kushans, and would have made it terrifyingly believable. That would, in my opinion, have made the book far more powerful, and you would have kept it down after the last page with but one thought in your mind... "aisaa bhi ho saktaa hai".... This can happen... As it turns out, you dont. You enjoy the read, and have fun while it lasts. It can be re-read, but It is just a great book....