Book Review: Chakra Warriors by Mahendra Jakhar

About the Book

The Godfather of Mumbai, wracked by his son’s brutal death, has called Senior Inspector, Hawa Singh, to catch the killer. The Mastermind, an extremist, lured by the secret, has brought out his forces in Mumbai, determined to wipe off anyone and anything that comes in his way. And when, on the chase of the elusive killer, he discovers a group of scholars, the guardians of the secret, Hawa Singh is in the way. 
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Drawn into a net of extremists, gangsters, drug dealers, Mumbai Police, Bollywood stars, and corrupt politicians, Hawa Singh will have to delve into the past, into the British Raj, into the underground sewers of Mumbai, and scrounge the many historic buildings, break codes, unlock the secret and protect it before every single guardian is dead.

Only, the Mastermind walks a few steps ahead.

About the Author

A former crime reporter, Mahendra Jakhar is a scriptwriter for feature films and TV shows. With a BA in English Literature, he started out as a freelance photojournalist for The Times of India, but quickly became a full-time reporter. By 2006, he was in Mumbai, combining his passion for photography and love for writing by becoming a freelance scriptwriter. His first film-project was the screenplay for Mahesh Bhatt’s ‘The Killer’. He has gone on to write scripts for many shows like CID, Mano Ya Na Mano and Seeta aur Geeta, as well as researched and written Discovery’s documentary on the hijack of IC-814 from Kathmandu to Kandahar. A voracious crime thriller and murder mystery buff, his writings “The Swastika Killer” and “The Buthcher of Benaras” reveal his field knowledge in the themes he picks.

For all of those who have red the 'The Butcher of Benaras', Hawa Singh is a well known character. Taking forward his story in this franchise the author gives us yet another page turner which is full of thrill, mystery and suspense. 

With a cover that has its own story to share and a blurb that leaves a reader intrigued, author Mahendra Jakhar has got a winner in his hands. There are no doubts about the anticipation which builds up in a reader after going through all of these. The book opens with the character of Hawa Singh and his background while depicting his life in Delhi. He is summoned to Mumbai for some strange reasons which are later on revealed to be sinister. However, known to take things head on, Hawa Singh takes up this work. Rest of the novel deals with how he finishes the task assigned to him. Before you wonder when did Hawa Singh the inspector become a gun for hire- let me tell you- to know the story behind that transformation you will have to read the book. (No spoilers here!)

It is interesting to read about Mumbai, as described in the novel. Though there is nothing new that one can say about this city which has been written about so much, Jakhar still tries to bring a bit of innovation is his depiction. The characters in the novel are intriguing - complex, layered and well rounded - they have the ability to carry the story forward on their shoulders. Each one adds to the narrative beautifully, making it a compelling read.

Hawa Singh comes across as someone who is a daredevil, someone who lives with a devil may care attitude carrying close to nothing about his life. However, his father is one affable fellow with a penchant to make you smile even in the darkest of scenes merely with his presence. He is one who is surely here to win hearts with his wit and charm. 

However there are quite a few scenes which can easily be called cliché apart from the editing lapses in the book which deter a reader's interest from the story. Nevertheless, that doesn't take away from the fact that this book is an edge of the seat thriller, one that promises to entertain you till the last page. Loved the historic angle to the narrative where he further has to back in the past to solve the present and ensure safety of the future. The world building of the past has been done exceptionally well.

The plot can be called nothing less than a roller coaster ride with its varied ups and downs, twists and turns intact. Though some of them do seem predicatable, the excitement quotient from the story never diminishes even for a nanosecond. As the Mid Day calls it, it is a perfect Bollywood movie with action, drama, revenge, romance, emotions and comedy in the perfect doses. 

Recommended to all who enjoy thrillers!