Kohinoor - A famed precious gem
A Mythological tale claims that it was worn by Lord Krishna and it was stole from Him when He was asleep.
Another story claims that it was found in a river bed in 3200 B.C
The first reliable evidence is from Barber, The Mughal Emperor, who named it as a part of the treasure won bu Alauddin in the 14th century.
The Mughal acquired it in the year 1526.
Right from the start this gem was claimed and hunted by India, US,Afghanistan and Taliban.
Now in the present times, the same countries are on the look out for the Kohinoor but this time, its not the gem that they are after, but it is a set of critical documents that decides the fate of the country and its people....
This is the outline of Manreet Sodhi Someshwar's second book - The Hunt For Kohinoor . This book is the second of the Thriller series featuring Mehrunisa Khosa.
I received this book from Westland Publishers a few weeks ago for review. I have not read the first part of this Trilogy series so I was wondering how this book would be and would I be able to connect with the protagonist.Will tell you about this later...
Before we go on to the characters and the story line, here is a note about the author....
Manreet Sodhi Someshwar trained as an engieer,graduated from IIM, Calcutta and worked in Marketing,advertising and consulting.
She is also the author of Earning the Laundry Stripes, The Long Walk Home and The Mehrunisa Triology, the first of which is the National Best seller -The Taj Conspiracy and was the Flipkart Editorial Pick of 2012.
Her articles have appeared in The New York Times,International Herald Tribune,South China Morning Post [Hong Kong] and servel other Indian publications.
Now to the book and its characters...
Mehrunisa - the protagonist who was introduced in part one of this Triology series,The Taj Conspiracy.She is a art Historian specializing in the Mughal period whose father goes missing when she was a child.
The supporting characters are
Rana Pratap Singh who was also introduced in the first book, who has a soft spot for Mehrunisa
Raghav- The cop who is sent to accompany Mehr .
The Characters that keep the story moving in mysterious ways...
Harry a.k.a Snow Leopard . - A RAW agent who mimics the characteristics of the same animal he has been nicknamned to be the most successful spy ever!
Jag Mishra a.k.a Chanakya - The RAW chief who has a knack of getting things dome his way
Babar Khan a.k.a Badshah Khan- Ex. US army gone AWOL, a Muslim who has returned to his homeland as the prodigal son ,to fulfil his destiny, his country's destiny and who has a vision for his country men.
And plenty of other characters that play a small yet significant role in this thriller...
Now moving on to the story...
It starts with Mehrunisa waking up to a beheading. A dream that often torments her from the time he disappeared from their lives, in which he is beheaded. This particular dream keeps her away from expressing her love for RP Singh.
Then there is the President of Pakistan killed in a suicide attack and the General who has gone into hiding. There is a scheme of terror attacks that are about to unfold and it is burnt down along with the President.And then they come to know that he has hidden a copy of it some where and rightly calls it the 'Kohinoor'.
Each country tries to get its hand on it and use it for their cause- to create or avert a terror attack.So the story is set in different countries and all the happenings are shown to be inter connected to each other at different points of the story.
Harry, the spy who is injured during the attack on the President is in the hospital now. He is the only person capable of retrieving the Kohinoor.Or so thinks the RAW chief Jag Mishra. An earlier incident shuts off a part of Harry's memory that carried with it his wife and child. Now after this blast injury he regains it and Mishra knows Harry will use it against him now.
Unknown to Mehrunisa, RAW has been spying on her activities since her father had disappeared. She is brought into this scene to help them locate the Kohinoor.When she hears that her father is alive and will be able to see him, she is over joyed and confused!Merunisa learns about her fathers memory loss and that he has regained it back.She is looking forward to meeting and reunite with him after a gap of 17 years! But it comes with a price tag of locating the Kohinoor.
Jag Mishra sends Mehrunisa to locate it and Raghav accompanies her. RP Singh is also sent to help her out.
She travels through the cities trying to figure out where it would have been hidden.And she has just 96 hours to find the Kohinoor and bring it back!!!
Babar khan,who is known to be ruthless, finds out about her and follows her with an aim to eliminate her and her associate .She is almost killed in a suicide bomb attack but luckily escapes.
With each step she find more and more hurdles to cross.She unravels the mysterious hiding place of the scroll and deciphers the writing just in time to be taken captive by Babar khan.Both Raghav and Singh are hurt ,read - shot but alive and have to return to India leaving Merhrunia at the mercy of her captor.
Meanwhile Harry a.k.a Snow leopard a.k.a Harinder Singh Khosa hears from Mishra that his daughter is out there on the dangerous terrain to get hold of the secret.
A recuperating Harry is enraged and wants to go out to bring his long lost daughter back to safety.This is exactly what Mishra was hoping for!
So Harry uses his contacts and old friendships to travel the terror zone and bring back his daughter.
Meanwhile in India, The Bakra Nangal Dam is about to be blown apart which is considered the most serious of all attacks.This was what is mentioned in the Kohinoor!
Will Mishra, Raghav and Singh be able to avert it is the climax of the story.
On the whole this is a book fully about Mehrunisa and her capabilities ,how she solves the mystery of the hiding place, her trysts with the terrorist leader etc. Along with her are the other characters that support and take the story along.
My views on the book..
Even if you are not familiar with the authors previous work - The Taj Conspiracy, a few details of that is outlined in this book so that you are not totally lost. You are able to connect with Mehrunisa.
You get a big dose of history and geography through this book.The terrain, the people, their culture, their history, the minds of the terrorists and how they exploit the innocent into becoming suicide bombers all are blended into this book at various points.
The book starts quite slowly and later picks up pace. After a while it is really hard to put down the book. The slow pace of the book give ample scope to get a good look at the characters, be familiar to their background and get acquainted with all that is going to take place and how relevant these are as the story flows on.
The author has done her share of research in the fields of culture , topography,cultural practices, the emotions of people, their views on the other countries and so on.
For me, a book should bring in front of me the scene,like it happening right in front of you. This author has done that!The scenes are lucidly written that it looks like you are walking along with the characters all through the book!
There are a few places that really don't fit in but it does add a nice twist to the story.After all this is a work of fiction and you cannot expect everything to be perfect!
In some places, I was really tempted to skip a few paras as it seemed to bring down the pace of the book esp. the place where Saby talks about the relationships between the countries.But later you realize that it is kind of necessary to know.
Overall, this is a really good read. I highly recommend this book.You will definitely love it for the gripping tale it unfolds.
Kudos to the author for weaving together fiction and history into a nail biting thriller!
Having said that, I would love to read her earlier book - The Taj Conspiracy and surely looking forward to her next book in the series...
At a glance...
Book -The Hunt For Kohinoor
Author - Manreet Sodhi Someshwar
Publishers - Westland Ltd
Genre - Fiction
Price - INR 295
Get in touch with the author - Facebook
View the trailer here....
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