Book Review | Kaalkoot by S. Venkatesh
Author: S. Venkatesh
Genre: Crime Thriller
No. of pages: 333
Published by: TreeShade Books
Published on: 8th December 2018
My rating: ★★★★☆
January 1944 - Holed up in a Himalayan hideout, freedom fighter Manohar Rai has to take a chilling decision – one that could mean life or death for millions of people. His only hope is a mysterious young man, who goes into hiding hours before Manohar is shot dead in cold blood.
June 2018 - A forgotten legend from the upper reaches of the Himalayas is rearing its ominous head. The world will be brought to its knees. KaalKootx will strike again.
Only three people have a clue about the horrors that are about the unfold. The only hope for survival lies buried deep in the remotest corner of Himalayas. But a terrible fate awaits those who seek it. Is it already too late? Is KaalKoot – the primordial plague – unstoppable?
The book starts off with a scene in the Himalayas in 1944, where an Indian soldier is running for his life, desperately trying to hide something. Years later, an aging Professor, named Bhabani, unfolds bits and pieces of that secret which might be related to a weapon of mass destruction. But he realises that he is being chased by someone because of his valuable knowledge.
In a parallel scene, Sameer is in a pursuit of Ananya, his girlfriend, who mysteriously disappears. Ananya's connection to yet another Professor who shared knowledge about the weapon with Professor Bhabani, led to her disappearance.
Sameer and Bhabani meet each other under unfortunate circumstances. They are both being pursued by some organisation and thankfully are saved by a fierce female agent Damini, working for the Anti-Conspiracy Group, who was led to the duo while chasing a North Korean agent dealing with nuclear weapons.
Damini is quick to connect the dots between the two events and the in spite of being threatened with death constantly, they go on a wild hunt to unfurl the secrets that might otherwise lead to human extinction.
This has been an exhilarating read. From a good base to an exciting climax, Kaalkoot provides all. I loved how the book followed a timeline. The book is like a ticking clock, with every minute of the timeline, the plot goes thicker. With wild chases and conspiracy theories and science stuff, this book is an absolute page-turner for thriller addicts.
The plot of this book takes all my kudos. The author really did his research when he wrote the book. With implications on a scientific backdrop, added with slices of Indian history, and global polititics, there's an amalgamation of suspense and information and this makes it an gripping read.
I really wanted the book to be a bit longer and more intricately detailed because I felt that the book was going a bit fast. But nevertheless I loved the wild ride. Kaalkoot has a very good story, a story that will make your heart race. And not to forget, the book also deals with family and romantic relationship. Even this, I wish I could get more.
The three protagonists of the book - Damini, Sameer and Bhabani have very different personas from each other, which made it impossible for them to work with each other. The author shows their character development as such that they set their differences aside and start collaborating with each other. Especially Sameer and Bhabani.
Sameer's character is one which drives on love. At the beginning of the book Sameer was shown as someone who is afraid of commitments and attachments. But slowly, when he realizes that the only person whom he loved so much is missing and may be lost forever, he changes. Also, his childhood story adds essence to his character. His character is an evolving one.
Damini's character is mysterious. Though the author portrays her as an adamant and brave field agent, she has an aura of self-doubt within her. Her character was a mystery box to me. Bhabani's character is that of an aged, brilliant and proud Professor. He has an almost comic touch to his character. His brilliance and furtiveness makes him an egoistic and a jocular character.
The characters in this book are something to look forward to.
Venkatesh wears many hats. In his roles as private equity investor, executive coach, business leader, entrepreneur and Board member, he has helped businesses thrive and grow. He has spent a significant part of his professional life in the stock markets with Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan and continues to be an avid investor.
Venkatesh has been keenly interested in Eastern philosophy and mysticism right from his college days at IIT Delhi and IIM Calcutta. He has found his inspiration to write in rather curious settings - while crawling through war tunnels in Vietnam, coming face-to-face with a bear in the Nilgiris, chancing upon an Indus Valley ruin while on a road trip, listening to “Madhushala,” or just drinking cutting chai by the roadside. He is passionate about self-discovery and the power of stories to inspire and transform.
I got the book as a part of the review program in Outset https://rakhijayashankar.blogspot.in