Book Review: Prey by the Ganges - Hemant Kumar

Prey by the Ganges by debutant author Hemant Kumar, is a passionate tale of a vicious night across the holy river Ganges, woven with bedlam, deceit, revulsion, desire and slander, but eventually rests down to a gory tale of endurance in a dissolute and terrifying planet of the potent lords of the terrain, who can go to any level to exploit the taciturn while shielding their precarious secrets.

Set in 1948, in the heart of eastern India, the tale picks up in a chilly, drizzling night in a jungle surrounding the Ganges, where a young man lies in a channel, in agonizing twinge and bleeding deeply, with a knife pierced through his stomach, which sets the ideal ambiance for a macabre, soul-shattering bludgeoning of a fraught cat and mouse game among two brothers in the quest for a priceless diamond, where the mightier of the two has managed to banish the other one, but the diamond still eludes him.

The river Ganges mutely witnesses the mayhem that follows in one of the most perfidious terrains on earth, when Ravi, a mere painter in a neighbouring village tries his luck to lay his hands on a faithful diamond, evading from the sprying eyes of Thakur Gajanan, the dominant of the two brothers and the lord of the land. Thakur Gajanan was not just handsome but also covetous, astute, pitiless as also cold-blooded.

And what follows is a rollercoaster ride in the interiors of Thakur Gajanan’s forts and his immoral pursuits, where, the soft and noble-hearted lead character and the protagonist in the ayurvedic healer, Shambhu, remains the last man standing. He is the one who eventually had to follow Ravi’s trails on the other side of the river right to Thakur Gajanan’s den to uncover the mystery as also his destiny. Just get hold of the book to decipher the spine-chilling tale in this hot pursuit that follows thereon.

An eclectic cast of characters who are all pawns in his uncanny game, comes out to tell a tale of their own from, the thakur’s well-educated consort, Thakurain Rajni, the voluptuous beauty in Etwari, whose body is at the mercy of Thakur Gajanan, lusty Chanda, the girl whose beauty becomes the reason for discord between the thakur and his henchmen, a goon of his able-bodied and skilled blood-thirsty henchmen, to a milieu of other characters.

This bucolic and redolent plots and intermingling subplots pulls you into the storyline and keeps you there while blending sadism with audacity, passionate odium, stratagem, scandals, fervour and romance, and in the course lays bare the price of destiny, luck, candour and compassion with a scrupulously affable protagonist, in all its myriad shades. A plausibly firm and enthralling saga which you cannot really put down until the final leaf has been turned.

Prey by the Ganges is a fast-moving thriller of sorts with a riveting lingo, suspense-filled plots which will leave you yearning for more. The storyline is very well described and never blathers whether it’s the scenic beauty of the places or the sheer blood-shedding and even the moments of passion have been vividly painted with sparkle and essence to the readers’ enchantment.

Title: Prey By The Ganges |Author: Hemant Kumar |ISBN: 9788183281867 | Binding: Paperback |Published: 2011 |Publisher: Chlorophyll |Pages: 400 |Language: English