The Caretaker

Title: The Caretaker 
Author: A.X. Ahmad 
Publisher: HarperCollins 
Genre: Fiction 

The Caretaker by A. X. Ahmad is a heterodox thriller which follows the life of Ranjit Singh, former Captain of Indian Army, who is trying to make his living and settling his family in Martha’s Vineyard, but as the lids starts to come-off, we enter in the world of a betrayed past, a complex love affair and even complex religious disputes.

The protagonist doesn’t come even near to a Hero template which a reader would expect but is a flawed and unfortunate character, thus quite sympathetic. The main plot of the story, even with all the right ingredients of a thriller (as in: secret document, conspiracy, chase, threat of lives and destruction) is weakly presented. There is no deficiency of action sequences but when you expect them the most, romance is induced on the pages instead, thus making it a bit of a drag. 

Writing is next to perfect and the best part of this book. Anyone can create larger than life characters and force the reader on a roller-coaster ride, but it takes real talent to make the reader empathize with normal as nobody and walk through 290 pages just to know how things ends up. The story flow is also praiseworthy as author play out the past and present of the lead character, putting things on a new perspective after every few chapters. 

The embarrassment Sikhs had to bear in western world after 9/11, as most of them can’t differentiate between a Sikh and a Muslim (just like Indians categories westerners in just Blacks and Whites) is intelligently woven into the story; also backing up with the political relationships of US with India and Pakistan at that time frame. 

It might not be one of the best books I ever read but after I finished the book, I didn’t have any to compare it with and that’s a good sign. I won’t suggest this book to the hardcore thriller fans, as they might get disappointed. But this book is much more than a conventional whodunit and highly recommended for those who enjoys a complete Drama genre with a scoop of romance, mystery, war, emotions, politics and a lot more. 

Rating: 4/5 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher for reviewing purpose. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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