Saturday, June 29, 2013

Somnath Batabyal -The price you pay

I got a free copy of this book thanks to Indiblogger and Harper Collins.  I thank them both for feeding my never ending hunger for books.

Uday Kumar is a Supercop.  He is famous for having nabbed many criminals.  Amir Akhtar is a veteran journalist with Express.  Abhishek Dutta is a rookie, with some experience of editing a magazine called Secure Now.  On an impulse Amir gives Abhishek a chance at a job.  Abhishek gets lucky when he overhears Uday Kumar and a junior cop exchanging classifed information.  "Babloo Shankar is planning a comeback".

In a bid to impress his new boss, Abhishek gives this information to Amir.  It earns him a job as a crime reporter.  Abhishek is a pushy guy and finds himself in the news sweet-spot often.  He earns a formidable reputation as he continues breaking important stories.  He is the darling of the Police force and the envy of his tribe.

The going is good, but how long will it last?  Will Abhishek trip up and let his ambition consume him?  More importantly, Is the media fair? These are the things Abhishek has to discover on his own.

Somnath Batabyal has worked as a journalist for some time, hence he is able to describe the routine of reporter with authenticity.  Too much seems to be happening to Abhishek, one journalist does not get this lucky all the time, I feel.  Yet, to keep the story moving, a lot has to be going on.

This is Somnath's first attempt at fiction, he has written a non-fiction book previously - Making News in India - Star News and Star Ananda.  He has made a smooth transition from writing news to writing fiction.  His book is full of jargon that a journalist would use.  He presents a faithful picture of how things are at the reporting level.  Maybe not the FULL picture, but a fair picture.

The book keeps up a good pace and is an engrossing read.