04 May, 2017

#BookReview :: Pound of Flesh by Mukul Deva

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. 
Spearheading Harpal’s operation is the mercurial Santosh Kumar aka SK aka The Hammer, a ruthless enforcer who hates Ravinder for killing his father. The battle becomes intensely personal for The Hammer when he realizes that Pamela is the friend of Ravinder’s daughter.
Torn between rescuing Pamela, finding the truth and protecting Jasmine’s happiness, Ravinder battles alone.
Could Harpal be the man behind this deadly gang of human traffickers and organ traders? Could Mandeep, his future son-in- law, be the surgeon who is cutting up these missing girls and harvesting their organs? And why is Chetan, the police officer investigating the case, covering up the facts?

Ravinder Singh is a retired police officer. When he looks into the disappearance of Pamela Stewart, his daughter’s friend, he uncovers a plot of trafficking and organ harvesting that goes much deeper than what he initially thought. Investigation and suspicion leads him to Harpal Singh and Santosh Kumar. However, Harpal Singh is a powerful man and Santosh is a ruthless one. Will Ravinder Singh be able to solve the case and put the perpetrator behind bars before it is too late for him and his daughter?

The plot is complex with sub plots going on parallelly. For instance, Ravinder Singh is investigating Harpal Singh while his daughter is Engaged to Harpal’s son Mandeep. So, things are more than complicated for Ravinder and his investigation into not only Pamela Stewart but also the other missing girls who seem to be connected to this case. While both human trafficking and organ harvesting are serious issues in the modern-day world, the author could have with dealt the issues with more gravity. The characters are well developed and each character is placed in the story just so they can contribute something. I liked Ravinder Singh’s character quite a bit and understood his dilemma. Though his intelligence does not really get a chance to shine through as in this case he mostly stumbles across things quite accidentally. It was like the antagonist was doing half his job for him. The antagonist’s character though needed some more work towards the end as I felt that all the buildup he got wasn’t really justified at the end. He seemed to get what he deserved a bit too easily.

Overall, this book is a brilliantly paced work of thriller. With witnesses disappearing and plot twists being delivered, I was so engrossed in the story that I finished reading the book (and it is quite a big one) in one day.

Review Copy received from Westland Books

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