Monday, December 30, 2019

Operation Jinnah, by Shiv Aroor

Operation Jinnah, by Shiv Aroor

A girl is kidnapped in Pahalgam, Kashmir, her two friends shot dead. This kidnapping would have been no different from others, had it not been for the girl - Varuna Rana, the daughter of the famously infamous Admiral Nirbhay Rana. Whispers of his name had surfaced when people talked about a mission from the past which was shrouded in a cloak of secrecy so thick that it had become more of an urban legend or myth. When his daughter goes missing, and a ghost from his past comes to haunt him, Admiral Rana must assemble the same team that helped him on a mission seven years ago in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, this time with his daughter and the reputation of his beloved motherland, India, at stake. With less than nine hours to deliver, the whole team – Lieutenant Commander Akeela Thomas, Lt. Vikramaditya Singh and Lt. Saraswati Subramaniam, dive into a mission with no way out. Will they succeed, and save the face of India, and more importantly, will they come back alive?

Reading this book took me a little effort as it was a military thriller and they are usually sprinkled with jargon which makes me have to leave the book and constantly read up their meaning. I did have to read some parts again but otherwise it was like any other thriller – fast and gripping. This book is authored by journalist Shiv Aroor who I met at the Mangalore Lit Fest 2019.
The first couple of chapters started off fast, immediately capturing the reader’s attention. The book slows down a bit after that to allow the reader to pause and take a breath. The author uses this time to weave all the different parts of the story together and the plot resumes its fast pace again, drawing the reader back into the depths of the story. As I mentioned at the start, I was a little apprehensive with the military jargon or names of the different weapons I would find. However, to make understanding this easier, Shiv Aroor has included a small diagram of the arsenal he mentions which helps in visualizing things better.

One thing to note about this book is the plot execution. The details and the planning which goes down to the minutest detail helps wrap the book together. I was impressed with the details of all the missions included in the book, which seem to miss out on nothing, and one can visualize exactly how everything plays. Lastly, I would like to point out the character development which takes place at every point in the story, revealing new shades of the person, and most importantly, the protagonists in the book had flaws. They were not perfect, allowing us to think of them as one of us, which I think was what the author was trying to convey.

Reading this book has made me decide one thing - this was my first military thriller and I’m sure it won’t be my last.

© 2019, Anvita Agarwal. All rights reserved.

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