An Unputdownable Gripping Tale of Narcotics Mafia and Political Endgame
March has been a great reading month for me, owing to the number of fast-paced thrillers I have been devouring. With this streak going on, I picked up Chapter 31 by Ashok Bhasin based on my friend’s recommendation. As a fan of thrillers and suspense novels, I was intrigued by the story’s premise, which revolves around the narcotics mafia and a retired chief of India’s Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
The novel follows the story of Rahul Mehra, who comes across a best-selling thriller that bears uncanny resemblances to a situation he encountered during his time with the NCB. The story then splits into multiple parts when a top Indian publisher contacts the author to publish the book under their banner. At the same time, Rahul is thrown to his past and becomes curious about the author’s inspiration for the story.
However, events soon unfold that draw Rahul into a political endgame with far-reaching consequences. There are also aspects involving the US Presidential Elections and how the book could affect the results. As the story unfolds, the reader is taken on a fast-paced journey filled with twists and turns, culminating in an open-ended conclusion.
Characters, Theme, Plot, and Writing Style:
The book features a cast of interesting (and unlikeable) characters whose internal dialogues add depth and nuance to the story. The theme of the cutthroat publishing industry and corruption is explored with brutal honesty, leaving no stone unturned.
I have come across a quote that fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth. This book used this concept to its advantage! It felt good to dive deeper into industries and themes that the general public might not know.
I had no idea how the publishing industry works and the workings of a drug mafia’s mind. The political election aspects were also new to me. The author’s writing style is engaging, with a flow of thought that makes it easy to follow the story.
Likes and Dislikes:
One of the things I liked about the book was the open-ended conclusion that left me thinking long after I finished reading. The author’s portrayal of the publishing industry and government was also refreshing and brutally honest. Additionally, the story’s pacing was well-executed to ensure I didn’t feel lost at any point despite the new content.
However, I didn’t like the lack of differentiation between the way Indians and Americans spoke. I felt that even the American and Russian characters communicated in an Indianized way, which didn’t seem realistic.
Final Thoughts and Recommendation :
Overall, I would highly recommend Chapter 31 to fans of thriller and suspense novels. The fast-paced plot, engaging writing style, and exploration of politics and the publishing industry make it a must-read.
The well-structured storyline helps readers learn about the characters and their motives through internal and open dialogues. These made me think about how I would have acted during such situations, as well, and left me quite satisfied. It is now available on Amazon, so you can kickstart April with a bang!