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The Third Squad Paperback – March 7, 2017
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"The Third Squad enveloped me in Mumbai, in its strangeness even to people who call it home. Each of the many odd but totally real characters who populate this book shines a light on the city and on one another. It's a page-turner, but as I got closer to the end I slowed down because I didn't want to have to leave this world."
--S.J. Rozan, author (as Sam Cabot) of Skin of the Wolf
"Against a backdrop of debilitating poverty, ancient religion, staggering wealth, and corruption, Mumbai comes alive in The Third Squad as the perfect storm for twenty-first-century noir. Driving this absolutely compelling tale is Karan, a police sharpshooter who is essentially a trained assassin. Initially distanced from his own actions by both Asperger's syndrome and Old World devotion to authority, he's ultimately forced to reconcile personal morality with obedience in a grim new age of blind opportunism."
--Tim McLoughlin, author of Heart of the Old Country
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By treating such a gruesome topic as assignation by police in such a casual and character driven way, rather than high action and straight violence, the situations and characters become humanize Dina terrifying way.
This story was amazingly written and extremely complex. I look forward to reading it again.
I think author has done a good research on Asperger’s syndrome character and then build this novel, the author having a good grip on his writing and character buildup is perfect. To be frank I really appreciated the work done by the author, its entire plot and the way he build the suspense and revealing their after is excellent.
The book is tagged as noir novel on the net, which is new for me so I picked and started reading it and then came to know that, here Karan the protagonist himself is the victim of the situation.
Now about this book, it’s a story about Karan who is encounter specialist, works under Ranvir Pratap, they all work under the tag name The Third Squad in Mumbai also Karan is suffering from Asperger’s syndrome. The story revolves between Karan, Ranvir Pratap and Nandini (Karan’s wife), the story says how asperger’s patient think, how do they react, what are their features etc. Actually I never reveal the plot of any novel, but if you have read this blurb, it will urge you to complete this wonderful novel.
What I loved in the book: Nandini’s character, very mature and interesting also the scenic description of Bombay is awesome.
I highly recommend this novel to crime, mystery, suspense lovers and to those who wants to read on human psychology.
**I received a copy from Juggernaut Books in exchange for an honest and unbiased review**
Akashic Books has quite a few noir titles which range around the globe from Chile to Belfast (Northern Ireland) to Oakland (California) to Mumbai - well, you get my drift.
I thank Akashic Books for making titles available to me in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.
Please go online at Akashic Books to view their catalog. It is quite eclectic and quite extensive.
THE THIRD SQUAD takes place in Mumbai and refers to an elite hit squad (very loosely connected with the official police force) that targets and kills suspected criminals. This is outside of a normal justice protocol and the court system - a (controlled) vigilante justice.
Our main character, Karan, is an ‘encounter specialist’ (a.k.a. assassin) in the Third Squad. His controller is Ranvir Pratap. Pratap’s controller is Parthasarathy, and the person in the middle is Tiwari, who operates a spy unit or information unit known as the Khabiri Squad. Tiwari’s nickname is ‘King Rat’.
On the periphery is Evam Bashkar who helps Ranvir Pratap with the recruitment of ‘Aspies’ or autistics for the elite Third Squad. Evam runs a home for autistic children and their parents. A doctor of child psychology, “Evam Bhaskar was a social misfit. In his dreams he was a miscast hero, but in life he was just another abject Mumbaikar. He peddled sex for a living and ran a home for idiot savants on the side.” (p.158) I found Evam to be a very interesting character.
Then there is Nandini, Karan’s wife, who tries desperately to understand and save her husband.
The sense of place in this title is incredible. Mumbai is center-stage. A great description of Mumbai occurs on p. 23 as “shape-shifting”. Mumbai seems to have a metamorphosis characteristic of completely transforming its physical shape to the onlooker.
The title is very raw and gritty, with close-up assassinations; extremely complex characters with seemingly psychological ailments or at best mood-swing disorders; and many layered plot lines. It is culturally puzzling at times; a true noir, highlighting cynicism, fatalism and moral ambiguity.
This is one of the most different, fascinating books I have read in a long time and I would highly recommend it.