PLOT: 4.5/5

My Musings

I have always been a fan of thrillers. But somehow this year didn’t turn out to be such a great one in terms of thrillers and mysteries.

I read a couple of good thrillers at the beginning of the year. The Cyclist by Anthony Neil Smith and Desert Flowers by Paul Pen to name a few, but they were essentially psychological thrillers.

What I had been craving was an action-packed adventure thriller and thankfully, respite came sooner than I had expected.

Sniper’s Eye is a book that was sent to me for review and just like other books by Mainak Dhar that I had previously read (03:02, Chronicler of the Undead and Zombiestan) this one too, didn’t disappoint.

Read on to know about my thoughts on this book.

What to expect?

If you are a fan of action thrillers which involve snipers, terrorists, intelligence agencies, paramilitary, India-Pakistan relations, spies, high-level corruption etc. then this is one book that you would be very happy to pick.

Expect a good dose of suspense, mystery, thrill and lot of action and adventure.

Let’s talk about the storyline

Aaditya Ghosh is ex-military. As a part of a very elite team of paramilitary men, he was often sent to highly dangerous and sensitive missions.

Due to circumstances (that I refrain from disclosing here for the sake of spoilers) he has to leave his past behind and start his life anew.

It has been three years since the day that forever changed the course of his life. Aaditya has been slowly and steadily moving towards building a new life for himself.

He has a decent and respectable job, a beautiful and caring girlfriend Zoya and friends who are like family. He is happy and content.

But the status quo of his life is all set to change on the day when a sniper’s bullet kills a man walking in front of him.

While on a date with Zoya in a mall, Aaditya witnesses a man dying because of a high calibre shot fired from a silenced rifle.

Immediately his military training kicks in and he rushes to zero in on the sniper. What he doesn’t know yet, is that this one-off incident will trigger something that he has always dreaded.

He will soon be caught in a whirlpool of events that will take him back to the very past he has tried escaping so far. Sniper’s Eye is a book that will thrill you, surprise you and keep you on the edge until you get to the very end of it.

What about the author’s writing style?

Sniper’s Eye is fast-paced and racy. It promises something new at the turn of every couple of pages and that is what makes it compelling. Mainak Dhar uses simple language and the book can be easily read in a single sitting.

Since the book is written in first-person, it is also quite interesting to get into a soldier’s mind and know the thought process behind his each and every move.

The book also has a lot of David vs Goliath moments which make it all the more interesting. There are times when the story takes an entirely new direction and the reader is left stunned.

I also like the way Mainak likes to keep it simple and stays away from unnecessary details.

When it comes to Indian writing, I am seeing a particular trend on the rise – talking about the socio-political issues that are currently plaguing the nation.

Some authors overdo it but some do it in just the right way. Mainak Dhar is one of the few who get it right. His subtle opinions are flawlessly imbibed by the characters that voice them and they don’t overpower either the character or the story.

How good were the characters?

Aaditya Ghosh is a character who is easily likeable. He doesn’t need to woo and wow you by waxing eloquent. Just by being who he is, he will win your heart.

He is calm and patient and extremely . I would love to see him and this book turned into a movie.

The other characters were also quite captivating. Some of them were diabolical, while some turned out to be most endearing.

Was the climax good enough?

The climax was as good as the rest of the book. It ends on a satisfactory and tantalizing note.

From what I’ve understood about this, the story of Ghosh will continue but all of the books will be written as stand-alone reads.

What I absolutely loved

I think the best part of Sniper’s Eye is how much effort and thought the author has put into penning its action scenes.

When you read the book, you are reading it from Aaditya’s point of view and the way he describes the situations (read action scenes) that he usually lands in, are just mindblowing.

It’s as vivid as watching a slow-motion action scene – the dramatics, the skill, the technique, the background sounds, the enemy’s each and every move, Aaditya’s anticipation and counter-action to each move – it is all so authentic and convincing.

What I did not like

There is a mini love story in the book which somehow did not appeal to me. The cliché image of a man with a dark and twisted past who wants to keep it hidden because he doesn’t know how his love would react to it – is something that I’ve seen a lot in Bollywood movies.

Also, the manner in which the romance is penned and scripted isn’t creative. It lacked passion, intensity and emotional appeal. It somehow felt forced and unnatural.

It all boils down to the entertainment quotient

Sniper’s Eye scores really well when it comes to the entertainment quotient. The book is a racy fast-paced thriller which once picked is difficult to put down.

In the most literal sense of the phrase, it is a compelling read and a true page-turner. It’s one book that I would definitely recommend to all lovers of fast-paced action thrillers.

Pick up the book

  • If you enjoy thrillers especially those which promise a good deal of action and adventure.
  • If you find tales of honour and courage fascinating.
  • If you already are a Mainak Dhar fan like me.

Skip the book

  • If you don’t enjoy action thrillers.
  • If blood and gore is not your scene.

Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Sniper’s Eye using the link below.