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Review: Line of Control

books Updated: Oct 31, 2008 20:32 IST
Garima Sharma
Garima Sharma
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Title: Line of Control
By: Mainak Dhar
Publisher: Vitasta
Price: Rs 295
Rating: ***

Line of Control is Mainak Dhar's seventh novel, and its theme remains as fresh as ever. The story is set in the year 2011, when India and Pakistan stand at the brink of a nuclear showdown. An Islamic fundamentalist group has taken over Saudi Arabia and is operating backstage to spread jihad in India, across LoC.

With his IIM-A background, it comes as no surprise that Dhar has put extensive research in place for Line of Control, which is his first experiment with war fiction. The characters seem real, with abundant mention of various historical characters and national heroes. Dhar has done equal justice to characters from both sides of the border. There is ample space for readers to judge the characters’ stand, without Dhar having to intervene.

By placing readers in the thick of action, similar to the circumstances that we find ourselves in today, Dhar has actually managed to find a connect that cannot be missed easily. The fact that chara- cters, incidents and the reasons behind them, in the story are so contemporary makes it a good read for those wanting to know the truth about LoC.

Dhar’s language is crisp and direct, much like a history professor recounting an interesting incident with painstaking detail. However more was expected. With his eye for details, Dhar has explained every bit of twist in the story line. However, the slow pace of action (which is actually an oxymoron) could kill many. The many details that Dhar considers essential could have been skipped in order to make the novel a smoother read.

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