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Novel weaves mystery around army coup in India

The Other Man, published by TreeShade Books, is a faced-paced thriller.

Imagine a setting in New Delhi, or more appropriately, North India – a rightwing political party, backed by a business conglomerate of NRIs, a media house, a retired army chief, a tinsel town diva, a cocktail of ambitions, a coup plot… murders and a complex web of mystery. It may sound like the script of a fast-paced web series. It actually is. It exists in the form of a 309-page novel, The Other Man: Love, Loathing and Murders, penned by Ajaybir Singh Garkal.

It has been published by TreeShade Books.

In India, hardly any work of fiction has predicted possible army takeover because of the overwhelming fact that is too strong a democracy. Yet, you never know! Garkal’s previous work Making the Gods Dance, published in 2006, had the premonition about a right-wing party coming to power, courtesy support of godmen, violently inspired posse of youth and corrupt bureaucrats. However, the media, as in The Other Man, was ever vigilant.

India is currently being ruled by a party that is not very far from Garkal’s imagination, with a caveat that “fiction always departs from fact.”

The Other Man starts with a five-star hotel in gargantuan Delhi – the seat of power in India. It then goes to Rajasthan’s historical settings, capturing all hues of the sandy state, its royalty and the army brass that it has produced.

Garkal crafts his characters with witty, catchy prose that flows like water and grows on you page by page. His narrative mixes history with politics, laced with mystery. The carefully dished out suspense perhaps may invent a detective in you: teasing you to find out ‘whodunnit’. It compels the reader to finish the book in one reading.

The strength of Garkal’s prose lies in presenting his characters in their true psyche. General Jogmer is a consummate military man and a feudal Rajput and carries intrigues of both. Journalist Frankie, young and inquisitive, unravels mystery as a professional hack… well, rest should be left to readers. Read it, and get thrilled.