Book Review #70: Chakra Warriors

Name: Chakra Warriors
Author: Mahendra Jakhar
No. of Pages: 488
Genre: Fiction/Thriller
Publisher: Tara Press
Price: Rs. 399/-
Published in: September 2019

How did I get it? From the publisher.


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.

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.
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.
The Writing:
The writing is simple English and easy to follow. Yet it beautifully captures the scene, smells and emotions.
“Just like the ocean fish, the people in Mumbai are divided into their own pools.”
“Hawa Singh could see it was a monstrous city, with monstrous buildings, monstrous hoardings,monstrous pot-holes, monstrous money, monstrous celebrities popping out of newspapers and TV channels with their monstrous egos, a monstrous population riding on its endless tail of local trains, and monstrous slums hiding in them monsters of human decay and degradation.”
The protagonist, Hawa Singh, is portrayed as a real hero, invincibility and integrity personified. 
“All eyes were on him. You hardly get to see real men these days, manly men.”
“There were times when the Gods didn’t come to the rescue, the Ghost always came.”
His father, Fauja Singh, provides comic relief with his portrayal of a simple Indian father with a rural background.
There are a couple of typo errors though. Some of the dialogues also seemed repetitive.
What I liked and what I didn’t:
I truly enjoyed the information on Mumbai’s history and architecture. It was really interesting to learn about how the city developed and architectural landmarks of the city. The events and characters in history are beautifully linked in and incorporated in the story line.
I couldn’t connect with Kavya, Hawa Singh’s love interest. I felt her character was kind of superficial. Also, some expressions and thoughts seemed repetitive. Like ACP Iqbal keeps wishing that Hawa Singh was a part of Mumbai Police. Further, I felt the killer’s motive and technique lacked credibility.
Final thoughts:
The book is a desi Robert Langdon thriller for sure. Kudos to the author for all the research work and information on the architectural marvels and history of Mumbai. Anybody who is a fan of thrillers with a historical background, will surely enjoy the book.
I give “Chakra Warriors” 
I thank the publishers for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

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