Scent Of A Game
By Raghav Chandra
Why You Should Read This Review :
The key question is, for a lay reader, has the author managed to keep the interest alive? Yes, he has - through an engaging use of the related and intertwined plotlines, with both plots moving forward alternatively; a few pages on the frame-up, or personal lives, or the journalist's experiences; then interleaving it with the details of the wildlife conservation efforts of the Tiger Park, or moving the poaching and international smuggling plot forward
The punch of the book is the real and main story, shorn of the embellishments : the tiger poaching ring, the movement of smuggled skins and other items, and the nitty gritty of the entire modus operandi, told in detail. The book is a fascinating repository of information of National Parks like Pench, Kanha, of wildlife conservation and of the working of the forest departments, as well as the forest ecosystem including tribals. Importantly, here you get the corrupt officials, the incompetents and the high-and-mighty who are involved in the entire matter.
This is something you can find in other novels as well, with a difference : in this novel, the author has exposed the interplay of incompetence and low-level corruption and its interaction with high-level corruption and serious crime, carried out in an atmosphere of bureaucracy and political control. This is where the author is in unique territory; read the book solely for this, if for nothing else.
And that is the scary part; the Author, as I pointed out, an IAS Officer with practical experience in this precise geographical tract, spanning these Tiger Parks. The shocking callousness and incompetence, the vicious nexus that operate in this fiction novel, when seen in the backdrop of the Author's background, paint a terrifying possibility, and underline the need for positive change in India, and the need for supporting the good officers from the IAS Services, as has been shown in the book as well!
This is a must read for all... dont miss this one...