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15 July, 2019

#BookReview :: The Antagonists by Tina Biswas



I am one of you . . . that is why I, and only I, can be trusted to do what is good for you.

January 12, 2013. Sachin Lohia, billionaire businessman, has just woken up to a nightmare. A raging fire in his hospital. Over hundred people dead. Journalists demanding answers. And worst of all, the chief minister of West Bengal, the formidable Devi, calling him a murderer. Hot-headed and stubborn, Devi doesn t bother with formalities or facts. Her people are baying for blood, and Sachin is the perfect scapegoat. But will her schemes bring about his downfall or will she be the one to get hurt in this battle of wits? Seamlessly melding the personal and the political, this is a darkly satirical story of clashing egos, fatal misunderstandings, and dangerous self-deception. Irreverent, incisive, occasionally scabrous, and always bold, The Antagonists shines a light on the murky world of politics.





When a fire breaks out at a hospital and results in loss of life, tongues start waggling and the blame game begins. Devi, the chief minister of the state, points her finger at Sachin Lohia – a billionaire businessman. The clash between the Chief Minister and Sachin Lohia doesn’t stop there as Devi is against the mining project that The Lohia Group is invested in. In this battle of wits and politics between two strong personalities, who will remain standing in the end?

While what I referred to as the ‘clash of the titans’  is the main focus of the story and Sachin and Devi both don the hats of the protagonist and the antagonist from time to time, the story also has three other characters that helped shape up the plot. Dr. Anima Acharya, a neurosurgeon dealing with personal issues, is placed right at Balachuria where the mining project is located. We have Anil Thakur, Sachin’s right hand man, who is an opportunistic man ready to milk any situation to his advantage. Then there is Devi’s secretary who is more often than not used as a tool to infuse humour into the story. When put together, the cast brings in a varied set of personalities that provide the readers with enough enjoyment. The characters are well-developed and interestingly portrayed. The plot in itself is not very complex and will probably disappoint you if you come in with the expectations of a few gripping twists. But it has enough mettle to keep you hooked. There’s a bit of satirical tone in the book that I thoroughly enjoyed.

At 400 odd pages, the book can take a while for any reader to get through. I feel that there were moments were the story was dragging a bit and could have done with tighter narrative. Other than that this is a refreshing tale that would satisfy readers who prefer their reading material have a touch of reality in them.


Review Copy received from Fingerprint Publishing




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