Title: Sniper’s Eye
Author: Mainak Dhar
Published on: 3rd October 2018
How do you defend against an enemy you cannot see and who strikes you down from hundreds of metres away?
Aaditya Ghosh has left his tumultuous past behind and now works in the corporate sector. His colleagues consider him to be shy and reserved but when Zoya Khan joined the office six months ago, things changed. Aaditya and Zoya are now on their way to watch a movie when a man in front of them is shot to death by a sniper.
Aaditya’s instincts kick in and he goes in pursuit of the sniper. He manages to capture, or rather, kill, the sniper’s watcher. Aaditya is suddenly in the limelight, the media portrays him as a hero for capturing a terrorist. But the next day, the same media calls him a killer for having massacred a group of teenagers a couple of years ago.
A kill list goes up on the internet and the ones in the list are dropping like flies. The list is now updated and Aaditya sees himself as the next target of the sniper. When a man claiming to be IB officer tells Aaditya to be the bait to capture the terrorist, Aaditya readily agrees. But soon realizes his mistake as his life and Zoya’s is now in danger.
This is the first Mainak Dhar book that I read. Having heard a lot about his works, I decided to give Sniper’s Eye a try and I was not disappointed!
The pacing is simply perfect. In fact, I was hooked on to the story. A terror attack, a sniper, ex-major of the army, pain-in-the-neck media and many more, Sniper’s Eye is an engrossing page-turner.
I haven’t read a lot of books by Indian authors. I used to before but I found them to be a tad Bollywood-y so I stopped reading them. Having said that, though this book had the filmy essence in it, I found it interesting. The main character, Aaditya, is well portrayed. The only niggle I had with this character portrayal was the secret behind his past. As the story begins, he mentions a couple of times that he’s put his past behind, his instincts kicking in when a man is shot in front of him and all that, but it’s not until later in the story that Aaditya’s past is revealed. I was thinking of him to be an ex-spy or something but it turns out that he was a major in the army.
The suspense is well-maintained throughout the story. Zoya turned out to be the perfect example of a ‘partner who never leaves you when you are at your lowest’. Mr Thapa was one interesting fella – not saying anything more about him and making this review a spoiler. Then there were other characters too – Tony (Aadi’s boss), Phadke (DCP), Ravi (Aadi’s mentor in the army) and Rekha (Ravi’s wife; not me!!! 😉 )
There’s an unexpected movie styled twist in the story. 😀 I might not have watched a lot of movies but I liked the twist the author introduces halfway through the story. In fact, if this book is going to be made into a movie, I can imagine a macho actor playing the role of Aaditya – Rana Daggubatti perhaps? This story also reminded me of The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth and the movie Ghazi Attack. (Maybe I was imagining Aaditya to be Rana hence the link to the movie)
I found Sniper’s Eye to be engrossing and entertaining. As I was reading through, I could picture the story as a movie playing in my mind. Dhar’s writing style is crisp and precise, no beating around the bush whatsoever. I am looking forward to reading more of his books in the future.