13 February, 2017

#BookReview :: The Edge of Power (The Edge Series #2) by Tuhin A. Sinha

The heinous gang-rape of Nirbhaya has jolted the Indian nation out of its apathy. But rape and violence against women are only symptomatic of a deeper malaise that ails the nation: the total collapse of governance under the weak and vacillating PM, Devender Singh. Ironically, aiding the PM and his Indian Democratic Party (IDP)s cling to power is a casual and largely indifferent Opposition led by the venal Ravi Nehra. A ray of hope finally emerges when ex-journalist and RTI activist Daivik Verma and the gorgeous Catherine Khan, a leading Bollywood film-star with a mysterious lineage, decide to challenge the existing system by floating a new political party. But lack of funds and cadre support thwarts their efforts, their only recourse being Shruti Ranjan, who had sworn off politics three years ago. Will Nirbhayas gruesome rape and her subsequent death bring a disillusioned Shruti Ranjan back into the political fray, dominated by crime lords and bankrolled by industrial barons? Will the trio manage to stage a coup and dethrone Indias worst regime? Will the land of great leaders like Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka and Akbar, finally get a dynamic Prime Minister she so badly needs? A racy political thriller, The Edge of Power is a powerful inquiry into the underbelly of Indian politics. It raises important questions over the funding of Indian political parties, while presenting Shruti Ranjan, the immensely popular protagonist of The Edge of Desire, in a refreshingly new, resurgent avatar.

When I started reading this book, I was unaware of the fact that this is the second book in the series; Edge of Desire being the first. There are instances with characters, who have been part of the first book, where it is assumed that we know certain things about them. However, I had no trouble reading this as a standalone.

The Edge of Power centers around Devender Singh, Ravi Nehra, Shruti Ranjan, Daivik Verma and the gorgeous Catherine Khan. Devender Singh is the current Prime Minister with Ravi Nehra as his opposition leader. Catherine Khan, a Bollywood actress, along with Daivik Verma floats a new political party. Taking cues from our modern society, the story revolves around the politics of different people in positions of power. How the opposition chooses to raise the only issues that bring them profit; how a new party has to struggle due to the lack of funding; and how a few people in power can manipulate the system.

I absolutely loved the character of Shruti Ranjan. While the other characters were well developed, her character simply shines through the book. I loved her tenacity and her pragmatic approach. Daivik was the other character that I really liked. Honesty is probably what ties Shruti and Daivik in a common thread, but it is their different approaches that brings the colour of individuality. Drawing inspiration from the Nirbhaya case, this book also deals with the grass root reality of our country. Certain parts of the book were not easy to read as it reflected the stark truth of our reality.

The book was deeply engrossing.

Review Copy received from Hachette India

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