Book review

Pound of Flesh by Mukul Deva, Book Review

Wow what a brilliant story. 

I have not read any of the previous books in the Ravinder Gill series. Not exactly the Jack Teacher type hero but a worthy effort from the author. It’s India’s cop fighting the crime monsters. A hero which is much more relatable to the foreign ones. The situations, crimes, police follow ups is something we can easily grasp and understand in depth. Kudos to the author for making a story with local aspects gripping and page turning good. 

Book

Title: Pound of Flesh

Author: Mukul Deva 

Publisher: Westland Books

Published: October 2016

Rating: 4/5

Time period: contemporary

Profession of main characters: Police officer, Lawyer, criminals and politcian. 

Story

Minutes after landing at Delhi airport, Pamela Stewart, a beautiful, young American lawyer vanishes without a trace. 

Retired Inspector General of Police Ravinder Singh Gill knows that he has only hours to track down and recover the missing girl, his daughter Jasmine’s college-mate and friend. As he digs deeper he realizes that Pamela is only one of scores of young girls who have gone missing. Not one of them has been recovered. Not alive. And those found have had their organs harvested. 

The search for Pamela turns even more vicious and murkier as the finger of suspicion swings towards Harpal Singh, a powerful political broker with a shady past, and also the father of Dr. Mandeep, a surgeon, and recently betrothed to Jasmine. Yet again, India’s literary storm trooper Mukul Deva keeps you turning pages late into the night.

Buy Links: Amazon India

Paperback. | Kindle 

My thoughts

Pound of flesh follows the story of Ravinder Gill, ex police officer, his daughter Jasmine and her friends. Jasmine’s American friend Pamela lands in India and is waiting at the Delhi airport for Jasmine to pick her up. Pamela is in India to join her law college buddies Jasmine and Rekha at a Delhi law firm. Jasmine is late getting to the airport as Rekha isn’t feeling too well and on the way both are stuck in a slow moving traffic jam. Jasmine sends her father’s driver Jagjit to get Pamela at the airport. 

Pamela hasn’t seen Jagjit ever before and mistakes another guy for him and leaves with him unaware of his criminal background. SK sees Pamela mis-identifying him as her driver as an opportunity and doesn’t hesitate in kidnapping the fair skinned American for his prostitution and organ trafficking business. Soon the kidnapping comes to light as Jagjit, Jasmine, Rekha and Ravinder can’t find Pamela anywhere. Her switched off phone is sending all the red flags which are confirmed in the worst manner when the airport police officer is less than cooperative. 

In a series of incidences with crucial witnesses turning dead or hostile both father daughter are loosing their cool. Too many coincidences and frustrating police response leaves them on the edge. SK, the kidnapper and his boss Harpal turn out to be people intertwined in Ravinder’s life too close for comfort. The next few days after the kidnapping are highly tense and every character is on the verge of insanity. Jasmine’s boyfriend Mandeep happens to be Harpal’s only son and their interactions provide some distraction from the kidnapping and terrible mood surrounding it. 

By the time the kidnapping is solved, Pamela recovered broken but alive, we loose quite a few characters. The crime ends in a bloody mess. The nature of criminals, their greed and attitudes are very well displayed in this story makes it easier to see the monsters in their full glory. There is no doubt India or for that matter any place getting a healthy influx of tourists is susceptible to such crimes of opportunity. It will always be a cat mouse game where the traffickers and tourists are concerned. 

The sequence of incidents following the kidnapping and it’s end is written in a very methodical manner with good attention to detail. The flow is near perfect and the built up to the climax exact and sharp. It shows how such time sensitive cases are generally handled in India. No wonder the public opinion is so divided and bows towards not trusting the police authorities. 

I found the story intense and sharp with the situations presented in a very matter of fact manner. There was no two ways about how the characters acted or felt. The author’s attention to detail fits well given his military background. I look forward to reading more of his novels in the future. 

About the Author

An alumnus of La Martiniere College, Lucknow, the National Defence Academy, Pune and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, Mukul Deva was commissioned in December 1981 into the Sikh Light Infantry of the Indian Army. He took early retirement from the army as a Major, after fifteen years of service, including a decade of combat operations in India and overseas. Now settled in Singapore, he is a highly successful entrepreneur, a globally renowned keynote speaker, highly sought after executive, business and creativity coach and a professional mentor. He has also served as a Mentor on the United Nations Institute of Training and Research Afghanistan Fellowship.

Connect with the author via Twitter | Website
Reviewed by Bharti 

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