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Kaalkoot The Lost Himalayan Secret— by S.Venkatesh

Publisher: TreeShade Books


Price: Rs. 350 INR(paperback), Rs. 175 INR(Kindle edition)

ISBN: 978–8193642450

Buy here: https://amzn.to/2Yji8Ig

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. KaalKoot 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.

About the author:

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.

My take on the book:

Its pre-independence days in India and there are patriots trying hard to defend national interests and the countries future, while there is a secret group from Britain called Imperial Guard who have their own plans to rummage through the country one last time before they leave its power in the hands of its citizens.

Cut to current times, secret service agency ACG has alerts about movements of international agents mysteriously in Mumbai. The agents are out to chase the clues to catch perpetrators if any. There are professors being chased and kidnapped suddenly. There are goons being directed by a mystery man from The Mansion who are on the loose trying to nab people ruthlessly. There is a strategic meet of multiple country heads and a friendly cricket match to follow in Delhi.

There is Kaalkoot, a unique poison formula and its antidote, believed to have survived generations, somewhere in the depths of Himalayas and there are multiple parties trying to reach it before other. Can the good humans outnumber the evil ones to stop mass destruction forms rest of the story.

This is an extremely fast paced thriller with multiple groups of people trying to outsmart each other, following clues like a treasure hunt and ultimately reaching their prized destination. There are government agencies and spies, professors who can crack clues, common people pulled into this maze unintentionally and of course those who plan to create mass destruction.

The first half unfolds the backdrop and the reason for the chase while the second half has the major action. The main characters — Damini, Sam, Bani are layered and have a good character graph during the story narration. However, the second half lacks logic on multiple instances with some sequences totally lacking realistic touch. If logic and reason can be ignored, the story can be enjoyed with the multiple twists and thrills it has to offer.

Pick this one for a fast paced edge-of-seat-thriller that is engaging from the word go.

“I got the book as a part of the review program in Outset” https://rakhijayashankar.blogspot.in

My rating: