iconimg Saturday, September 05, 2015

Manjula Narayan
November 23, 2012
Readers of Indian nonfiction, especially those interested in the examination of Mumbai's underworld would be acquainted with S Hussain Zaidi's work. The author of bestsellers Black Friday, Mafia Queens of Mumbai and Dongri to Dubai, he is a veteran investigative journalist. His latest book, Headley and I, co-authored with Rahul Bhatt, son of film maker Mahesh Bhatt, who was befriended by David Coleman Headley, the man responsible for the devastating terrorist attack on Mumbai, is an excellent read.

The sections to do with Headley's jihadi training, his reconnaissance of the city and how he befriended people are chilling.

"I wanted to show that anyone can be conned like this. Nobody would think a white American would be a Pakistani terrorist," says Zaidi who believes Bhatt escaped being unfairly thrown into prison because of his father's standing.

Told through the perspectives of both Headley and Bhatt, the book draws on court details, plea bargain papers and documents from the National Investigation Agency to create a portrait of the double agent.

Zaidi also tapped investigative journalist friends for assistance and spoke at length to the NIA's IG of Police (Internal Operations), Loknath Behera, who helped with source material and with recreating Headley's voice.

Headley and I will arrive in bookstores this month.