Religion does not breed terrorism, hatred does.
From Madhav Thapar the author of the much loved A Friend Like Karna comes his second novel The Times We Live In. This is a world of terror and treachery, but also patriotism and hope. Spanning the seven decades and more since India and Pakistan gained Independence; it cleverly juxtaposes references to true events with a tale of different generations of two families separated by the bloodiest partition ever.
At the centre of the narrative is the hunt for the dreaded terrorist, code named Cobra. As the faceless enemy spreads his tentacles of terror, the Indian RAW is in relentless pursuit, and the body count rises. The action shifts rapidly from scene to scene across three continents and multiple timelines.
Yet, this is not a thriller alone. In his trademark style, the author brings forward various aspects of human drama: love, sacrifice and family values, even as he unravels the motivation and machinations of a criminal mind.
Suspense till the very end, and twists and turns throughout.
This is my second book from one of my favourite authors- Madhav Thapar.
Religion doesn’t breed terrorism, hatred does. If you haven’t read his first book ‘A Friend like Karna’- I would suggest you read it. Author has a quality lucid writing skill which makes this book a highly recommended one.
First things first- Have a character mindmap. I have listed all the characters and mapped it before I reviewed the book. This further helps me to get back to the book at ease.
This book is about the pain of the bloodiest partition ever- India Pakistan partition and the terrifying 26/11 Mumbai blasts and the authors interweaving skills about how one event affects another is brilliantly put in this honest yet thought-provoking novel.
The cover of the book is quite catchy and brilliantly describes the 26/11 bloodiest attacks which have sent shivers to the freedom of Indian existence. The blurb is crisp and goes deeper than the story itself.
The pre-requisite of this book(especially for readers abroad) is to understand the events of partition and 26/11 blasts.
The book has set all the important characters in the beginning- Sarfaraz (Inspector general) and his son Parvez who loves Sushma – a beautiful daughter of Lal Mehta (Sarfaraz’s close friend). Most of the characters are from the previous book – A Friend like Karna. This book is a fresh breather of characterization and I loved the way these characters develop- especially the prime characters like Pranav Desai and Veer Sanghi.
The Times We Live is filled with the rich details of bloodiest partitions, but the unique structure of the story gives the novel a fresh and modern sensibility. The research on RAW spy agents and the impact of partitions in the lives of Indians and Pakistanis has been the highlight of this book.
The book is relishing in the psychological intricacies of power and faith but still crackling with suspense and intrigue.