Brutal, a debut thriller by Uday Satpathy would go down in the annals of Indian publishing history as the first crowd sourcing book. Thrillers as a genre has only recently been explored by the Indian writers and it is still nascent when compared to the likes of Robert Ludlam, Tom Clancy, Fredrick Forsyth, Lee Child, John Grisham etc. Although the books written by these authors are gripping, racy and grasping, what is mostly missing for Indian readers is the setting, atmosphere and politics which is almost always foreign. In recent years, this gap has been bridged by the emerging horde of Indian writers who are not shy of steering the genre forward.
Uday Satpathy’s debut thriller Brutal is one of the latest books that most definitely raises the stakes of the game and takes Indian thriller writing a step forward.
Written by one of the most promising debut writers, the book immediately catches the readers’ attention as it comes with the recommendation of Ravi Subramanian on the cover page. Already garnering the well deserved praise, Brutal is a perfect weekend read. Beginning with an action packed prologue taking place in Bandhavgarh National Park at 2 a.m., the book immediately augments the expectation of the readers and what follows does not disappoint the readers a bit.
“They came out of the darkest of corners of his house, their tentacles crawling out from the shadows. Alone and cornered, he knew only one way of escaping. Run. Just run. He left his home, beginning a life where he has always on the move. But, the creatures never gave up on him. They stalked him everywhere – in desolate stretches of road, in movie theatres, in supermarkets, in his engineering hostel and now today even in this wilderness.”
“It was the blood of the monsters he had killed.”
Thus begins the roller coaster ride full of suspense and thrill. Plunging readers directly from the supernatural to the real world, Brutal narrates the story of two journalists who haunted by their inner demons come together to cover a story of brutal and gory cold blooded murder of eleven students by a science teacher, Nitin Tomar. Peaceful and calm, nobody knew what transpired him to massacre “eleven school children in cold blood using a kitchen knife.” Suspicious as it is, the story takes a steep turn when the accused, Nitin Tomar is itself gunned down by a sniper in the premises of Allahabad District and Session Court. Although the justice is served and people hungry for Nitin Tomar’s blood have been satisfied, it stirs up the hornet’s nest, “Someone had actually gone out of their way to deliver justice to Nitin. Was it for justice or was there some hidden agenda.”
Investigating the trail left behind in the wake of the murder of Nitin Tomar; Prakash and Seema, two seasoned journalists set out to discover the truth. The truth that can expose very powerful people and uncover their dark secrets and therefore, no one can be allowed to unearth it. Simultaneously moving in different directions, Prakash and Seema, travelling from Allahabad to Ambala to New Delhi to the wilds of Bandhavgarh, they stumble upon a huge conspiracy, bigger than their imagination, “What secret is so deep that it could make me disappear? Who are these powerful people?”
Unraveling a game of monstrous proportions, unearthing a secret organization whose tentacles have penetrated the government, intelligence agencies, corporate world, Prakash and Seema find themselves in the centre of the evil world that hides a malevolent agenda. Will they be able to survive and avert an international crisis in the making or will they end up in a body bag like all of their leads?
Like the cover of the book, Brutal is bloody, violent and grisly. With strong, evolved and sophisticated characters and simple, effortless, plain and crisp writing style, Brutal does not disappoint the thriller readers even for a second.
Fast paced, intriguing, thrilling, chilling and full of suspense, the book heightens the adrenaline rush and keeps the readers absorbed and immersed till the very last page.
Brutal is Indian thriller writing at its finest and Uday Satpathy is one of the most promising writers to watch for. The book is highly recommended for the readers seeking thrill and adrenaline rush.
Author: Uday Satpathy
Publisher: Westland Ltd.
Pages: 325 pages
Genre: Crime/ Thriller/ Mystery
About the Author