Vineet Bajpai called Kaalkoot a roller-coaster of thrill and mystery and I cannot agree more.
This 333 pages long pot boiler is jam packed with car chases, point blank kills, Indian history with a touch of mythology. Intensive research has been done for this work and it shows. The places and the details with which they have been described are indelible.
The story basically involves a deep hidden secret in the Himalayas which has been protected from The Imperial Guards, for if it falls into the wrong hands, catastrophe would befall. Now cut to the present, 3 people are on a hot trail uncovering the secret. One of them an eccentric scientist, a Himalayan flora-fauna specialist and a mountaineer who had a penchant for adventure. But they were not free from danger; lots of eyes were on them. International agencies tracking each and every single move of theirs. Then comes Sameer Ranjan, a typical 9-5er nobody with a passion for the mountains who seems to have given up on any prospects of a stable relationship in his life by pushing the one girl he truly loved, away, because of his fear of commitment.
A group of terrorists are trying to get their hands on the secret so that they can wreck havoc. Would they succeed? Would they be stopped? Read the book to know if kaalkoot is released onto the world!
Book Review of Kaalkoot by S. Venkatesh:
- The language is pretty easy with not too heavy lexicon. Some technical jargon here and there made up for an interesting read.
- A very well versed research on the locations where the story was set, from Mumbai to Goa to Kolkata to the Himalayas.
- The timeline of the story was broken to the minute and that made it impossible to put it down.
- The characters were very life-like, quite relatable. Each and every action of them was justified with something from their past. Good character build-up is one of the foremost signs of a book that can be adapted into a television series or a movie.
- Episode by episode narration was an amazing choice for this story to be told since so many characters were portrayed at the same time.
- In certain places, the biological names of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum were not printed in italics, which is wrong according to the convention. I hope it is fixed in the upcoming editions.
- With an amazing build-up, certain turn of incidents were not at all expected. If bio weapons titillate you or happen to capture even a smudge of your interest, this is your baby!
- The character of Damini has been portrayed with astonishing maturity. When I first read about her, I thought, “Well here we go, another stereotypical cold-to-the-heart female secret agent who has no feelings for whomsoever in her life comes” but a very human version of hers was portrayed.