The Portrait of a Secret by Tarun Mehrishi
My take on the book:
Two vintage paintings by Russian painter Nicholas Roerich worth 400 crores have been stolen from Indian Agricultural Research Center, which results in a security breach. As Senior IAS officer Kamal races against time to recover them, the Chief Intelligence Officer receives tip of a planned nuclear attack by a terror group. Both these incidents are interwoven as the sale of these stolen paintings is intended to fund the terror attack.
But there is more to these paintings than that meets the eye, as the secret behind them is connected to the history of the country. Will Kamal succeed in this endeavor and saves the country forms the rest of the story.
This story is a historical fiction and a spy thriller, as major incidents in Indian history are woven into the storyline with fictional characters. The story is spread over more than a century beginning from early 1900s to 2010, with the narration moving across countries and continents.
Famous heroine from Indian cinema, mysterious death of a Prime Minister in a foreign country , Partition during India’s independence — the author weaves multiple real-life incidents and characters adding his own imagination to the plot.
The narration takes time to gain pace but once the main characters are established, the reader will be hooked to the sequences. There are many characters and incidents, so the story requires complete attention of the reader.
The author’s knowledge and research of so many distinct plot lines and backdrops is well depicted in the narration. Highly recommended for fans of thriller genre.