Book Review - The Eye Of the Predator - By Abhisar Sharma
I interacted with Abhisar Sharma in a recent Facebook video chat conducted by Blogchatter. Being a fledgling writer myself I had asked him a question. I told him that I was unable to follow the conventional style of writing fiction, recommended by so many popular writers, wherein the author first has to come up with the plot and characters and should have them clearly laid out in his mind before actually setting out to write. I asked Abhisar that since I am unable to adapt to this much-hyped method of writing books and found it easier to write spontaneously, was it still necessary for me to make a strong effort to change my style by trying hard for becoming a good writer.
He replied stating that the two of us were probably brothers from the wombs of different mothers because he too found it easier to write spontaneously. He also told me that his latest book 'The Kaafir Love' has started off on a totally different premise and ended up as a love story. He encouraged me to follow the style of writing I was most comfortable with. His exact words were 'Fall in love with your writing. Don't try to structure it.'
I immediately decided to go to the library and pick up any one of Abhisar's books and read it immediately. The only book of Abhisar's that was available in the library that day was a book on terrorists called 'The Eye Of the Predator'. I am not a very great fan of books on terrorists but nevertheless I picked it up with some trepidation and began reading it. The book is a fictional account of the planned execution of Baitullah Mehsud, the dreaded chief of the Tehreek E Taliban, a terror outfit operating out of Pakistan.
Baitullah Mehsud was a terrorist who had grown steadily in stature and harbored ambitions of becoming the Emir of Pakistan. The book began excellently with the first chapter describing the actual execution of Baitullah. I liked the way the book began and my interest was immediately piqued. The author then takes us through the chain of events that led to the ultimate act of killing Baitullah. Halfway through the book, I was confused by the descriptions of the rapidly changing loyalties of the innumerable terror organizations, warlords, and commanders who play a role in the story. It was becoming difficult to keep track of who is on whose side.
But then I presume that is the way terrorists work. In a world full of violence, blood, and gore where men are fighting for survival, today's close confidante and friend could become tomorrow's dreaded enemy. The manipulations and machinations of Mullah Omar to get Baitullah killed when he refuses to toe his line, take us deep into the devious mind of the dreaded terrorist from Afghanistan. The ISI and the Americans seem to be without a conscience of any kind and cut deals with terrorist organizations whenever it suits their purpose.
There is one particular chapter where a trigger-happy CIA agent goes ahead and kills a lot of children refusing to wait for confirmation before pulling the trigger. This made me feel sick. The technical description of the drones employed is a treat to read. The world of terrorists and their psychology is excellently brought out by the author. The book also includes a small but heartwarming love story. In the middle of all these ruthless and power hungry men, there are a few who are actually good human beings with actual principles. These people are a welcome relief in a book that is full of lunatics and murderous characters. Baitullah's increasing paranoia and his distrust of his close commanders and men take us into the minds of a man who is terrified of his own shadow.
There are certain things that do not work for the book. The extreme crudity in the mannerisms of the terrorists could have been avoided in some places. Abhisar could have elaborated a bit more on the love story to give us some relief from the constant scheming and killing. I do understand that we cannot have too many good Samaritans in a book about terrorists and espionage. But I do wish the author had introduced some more people with whom I could feel comfortable.
But the book does show what a deep understanding the author has about the workings of the world of terrorists. The book is definitely riveting and held my attention from beginning to end, especially taking into account the fact that I am not a habitual reader of books on terrorists. Here is my final rating for Abhisar Sharma's 'The Eye Of the Predator'.
Final Rating - 4/5