The Avenger by Juggi Bhasin Is A Noir Thriller On Terrorism

Juggi Bhasin’s first book was based on Indo-Pak relations and created a pulse pounding suspense and action. Once again, the second book – The Avenger is based on the similar backdrop. I believe the author should patent the rights for this kind of plots. He has a knack of writing such noirs. Talking about the cover, it boldly etches Juggi Bhasin’s undeniably brave and explosive soldier – Suvir Suri, geared up to avenge. He’s pretty much the rock of the book. The punch line clearly states – This time it’s War.

Once you have feasted on the cover along with the blurb, one can’t wait to dig into the main story.

India has witnessed a heartbreaking tragedy of a plane hijack in Kandahar long back. The plot is based on a similar callous vengeful shadow of plane hijack boarded by the daughter of an Indian business tycoon Suresh Jindal along with her friends to Gstaad. As a reader, I could literally relate with the plight of the crew and the innocent nineteen year old girls. The deadly Sikandar Khan is the mastermind behind it and main terrorist along with his two accomplices Leila Sheikh and Ashraf. The author has knit the strings of corruption very well with the backgrounds relating to problematic politics, bureaucracy and journalism. Unfortunately, the innocents die and there happens a brief mourning until it’s tossed in air. The loss shakes and bashes Suresh Jindal who alone mourns the loss of his child whereas the government and others are back to their usual self. Somewhere this is the sad truth of life. And thus, begin the main story of a mission by hiring Suvir Suri, an ex special force officer to hunt down the ruthless Sikandar Khan secretly.

The author has created his characters well and specially the antagonists and the incidents of treachery by Ministers like Jawad Mallik, Rajvardhan Rathore and a snake in Jindal group Ranauq. Also, it was a good surprise to introduce Nikhil Wagle. The other characters like Bhurre Lal, Paul, Naazish were crafted well, especially Naazish. The second half of the book doesn’t give the reader much to breathe and it kinds of becomes unputdownable.

The provocative shady speeches peppered by Sikandar Khan explicate the truth of his freedom and power on the streets of Pakistan. Sad but true, a face that demands attention as a prerequisite for greatness! The angle of Snowden was interesting involving Rathore and Jawad Mallik.

Everyone has one life. Suvir seemed like a lost hero when he lost Naazish. It was heartbreaking. However, the instilled anger worked up in drilling the bullet in Sikandar Khan completing the mission and avenging Richa and Suresh Jindal. I applaud the author for writing the scene where Richa comes to take her father to the heavenly abode post the assassination of Sikandar Khan. It was deeply sensitive, overwhelming and striking. Also, I made a little clap of victory for Ipshita on her new found independence and confidence in the end.

Overall, the book is a fast paced one that holds contemporary references of the plot for its kicks and thrills. Coincidence and character relations stretch credibility to the breaking point. However, at few joints it did digress. The action, mayhem and the intense moments along with the tender ones were the dose of hallmark sequences by the author.

Reviewed by : Shaily Bhargava

Author(s): Juggi Bhasin
Publisher: Penguin India
Release: November 2013
Genre: Fiction/Thriller
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