WRITING STYLE: 4.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4.5/5
There have been numerous books these days on office life – “The Bankster”, “31: A Thriller”, etc. but most of them have been based on either financial or advertising industry. This book, Behind the Silicon Mask, is based on the lives of Indian IT professionals and as an added flavour, is a thriller. The blurb of the book is intriguing and talks about a serial killer who is on the prowl for immigrants in the US and his next target – a community of two hundred Indian IT professionals; but we’ll get to that in the review. Because of all these, I couldn’t stop myself from grabbing it when we received it from Westland for review.
The most important thing about Behind the Silicon Mask, which I would like to mention before beginning the review, is that it is based on the events of a single day. This will help the readers to understand how fast-paced the plot is. The story is based in Milwaukee, where around 200 Indian IT professionals of CIKS are working onsite at Mayflower Mercantile. The central characters of the plot are Partho, Varun, Detective Farley of the MPD and the serial killer. Besides them, there are hordes of other characters who keep the plot running. The basic premise of the plot is that the serial killer, disgruntled by the fact that immigrants are snatching away opportunities from the locals, is targeting them. When Vishnu Reddy gives an interview on the television and says that around 200 Indians are working at MM, the serial killer sees it and decides to have a heydey. Detective Farley is the best cop in the MPD and he is the only one who can stop the killer. His investigations reveal that the killer does not want to kill everybody but is only behind the lives of Partho and Varun; but why? The rest of the book is filled with many relevant and irrelevant sub-plots generally revolving around an IT professional’s life and about how Farley uncovers the true motives of the killer and stops him.
Though there is nothing great or worth mentioning about the plot, Eshwar has an incredible writing style because of which I found the book very interesting and was nowhere bored. The flow, the tempo, the continuity is well maintained with added doses of humour. The characters have been beautifully portrayed and add life to the book. The best thing about the characters is that they are refreshingly different from the characters in the recent books that I’ve reviewed. All of them are different – some are philosophical; some are serious; some are funny; and some are, well just different. The characters come from different Indian states and hence, are unique in their own way.
One more point, worth mentioning about Behind the Silicon Mask is that when I was reading it, I always felt as if I was reading a book written by an American author. The reason for that is difficult to explain; it may be because of the western names of a few characters or because of the author’s writing style. I would strongly recommend this book to all the readers of this review and I am damn sure that I will not miss any of Eshwar Sundaresan’s books.