Title: Love, Job or Country
Author: Rohit Agarwal
Genre: Fiction – Terrorism
Publisher: Frog Books – Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd (2014 November )
ISBN – 10: 9384226475
Price: Rs. 175 (Buy from Flipkart at Rs.166)
Pages: 258 Pages
Summary: Terrorism is a word that keeps popping up in our day-to-day life and is a part of of vocabulary these days. Rohit Agarwal manages to capture the dark and murky secrets of a world hidden from us in his début novel Love, Job or Country. He has managed to etch out characters that are realistic, speak and talk like us and through this novel, shown that even small chance occurrences can help in opening up a whole new avenue in the fight against terror. For a début novel, this is a good one. My only grouse is the cover of the novel that doesn’t reflect the good quality of writing.
From the Book Cover:
Avinash and Chetan live in different domains, while one is an ambitious marketing professional; another is a hard-core spy out to serve his country. Avinash is struggling to retain the new job he has joined. Chetan has recently shifted from Colombo to Ahmedabad, as station head of R & AW. Destiny bring them together when Tamanna, the love interest of Avinash, leads him to an unthinkable terrorist plot emanating from a Pakistan based Jihadi group. The Story moves across the Indian subcontinent , from Pakistan to Bangladesh and Nepal to Sri lanka uncovering a deadly terrorist plot which can put Indian union in danger. It has to be seen if Chetan is able to stop the terrorists before they strike and if Avinash is vindicated in his trust in Tamanna.
The second string leadership of all the political parties are dying. Their deaths are not sinister looking. There is no clear connection, one dying in a road accident, one at the hands of his younger brother and another when his helicopter is hit by a freak bolt of lightning. No one is looking at them as a terrorist act.
Avinash, a regular guy in sales and marketing, can be anyone among us. Struggling to survive and bring food to the table. He is in love with a girl, Tamanna, whom he meets by chance while at the Railway station. Or is it a well orchestrated meeting?
Chetan is a middle level spy, reluctant to leave behind a thrilling post in Sri Lanka during the fag-end of the anti-LTTE push by the Sri Lankan government. He comes to Ahmedabad to be with his lovely wife and hopes to start a family. Will he be able to settle down to the inane life after the thrills of a foreign posting?
Rohit Agarwal, in Love, Job or Country, manages to piece together a well researched and remarkable story connecting random events and building up the moments, till it reaches a fulfilling end.
The book could have been a much better thriller as the events that unfold. Though very nicely researched, it does tend to get monotonous in places and tighter editing could have made this one a page-turner. The characters though are built up very nicely and behave like normal people would. Much like the cliché, terrorists are also human beings and may be anyone having a regular life, this book tries to stick to that.
The visit to the police station is something everyone dreads. In this book, the police are shown to be very efficient and helpful people, which rarely happens.
The RAW agents are shown to be just like normal people, with their daily chores and headaches. Though they may be the best brains in the business, even they need to be alert to unravel the threads and need all the luck, to catch the terrorists.
My opinion: The story falters in places and sometimes does feel like a yawn, especially dragging around the love life of Avinash and the Nakhras of Tamanna. But the book reads well as a whole and should be a good companion during your traveling.
What I liked about the book
- An ordinary every day narrative which resonates with most of the happenings over the past few years.
- Good build up of the characters with a hint of the quirks various people have. Helps you build the story in your own vision.
- Simple language.
- A very well researched book.
What I did not like about the book
- The book cover that is not very welcoming.
- A few names could have been better spelt, especially the south-Indian ones.
- The narrative becomes labored and insipid at times.
Buy or Don’t buy? Buy. For light reading when you need a companion.
Flipkart Paperback: Rs 166
Amazon India: Rs. 163.
I give the book 3 out of 5.