Official Review: Desert Hunt by K S R Menon

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Official Review: Desert Hunt by K S R Menon

Post by debo9967 » 09 Mar 2017, 11:57

[Following is an official review of "Desert Hunt" by K S R Menon.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Desert Hunt by K.S.R Menon is a book that can be loosely categorized in the espionage thriller genre. Set in Dubai, the story starts with a top Hamas leader acting as a middleman in a clandestine nuclear deal, for his own reasons. His assassination brings to light a bigger and more sinister terror plot to secure a suitcase nuke design for the Al Qaeda. Intelligence agencies spanning across four nations: the USA, the UAE (Dubai), India and Israel, come together to solve this puzzle involving multiple plots and players. Will they uncover the conspiracy and prevent the Al Qaeda from laying its hands on the dangerous weapon before its too late?

The author’s wide journalistic experience lends a high degree of credibility to this novel, which I felt was its best aspect. The novel provides a fascinating description of how intelligence agencies function, distinct from the stereotypical ‘James bond’ kind of spy fiction. All the characters are believable; in fact some might be modeled on certain real personalities, and most of situations are not just realistic but frightening possible. The story is narrated from the viewpoint of several characters, which covers the plot line from different angles. The novel takes the reader to diverse scenarios ranging from war-ravaged Iraq to terrorist dominated Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Through it’s well-rounded characters, the novel relays the perspectives, and sometimes peculiarities, of people of different nationalities, for example, the extremely inquisitive nature of South Asian people, or how they criticize Americans and at the same time want their kids to study in the best American universities. On a serious note, there is an element of sensitivity and fairness in the characterization, for instance, the author contrasts a Pakistani ex-military official who is trying to sell the nuclear weapon design, with a sailor, also from Pakistan, who is doing everything in his power to aid the Dubai Intelligence, even putting his family at risk when they’re quite literally in the shadow of the Taliban, in Waziristan.

Coming back to the plot, describing it as fast paced and full of suspense will seem pretty cliché. The author cleverly captures the intricate balance of international equations and dynamic existing between nations, for example, how India balances its relations with both Israel and Palestine, and without giving away any details; I have to say that it was quite astute. Ordinarily, a plot involving so many characters and twists should have been complex, but the smooth and vivid writing style, and superb editing makes it very easy to follow the storyline.

This book is meticulously detailed, yet it is a tight suspense where no words have been wasted on unnecessary additions. The only criticism I can think of is, that there are hardly any pivotal female characters, but that isn’t enough to begrudge this novel the 4 out of 4 stars it deserves. Readers who enjoy intelligent and realistic political crime thrillers will enjoy this one.

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Post by kandscreeley » 14 Mar 2017, 13:24

It sounds like the author has done his research on this book. It also sounds like there are many great characters to enjoy. Thanks for the review.
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Post by debo9967 » 15 Mar 2017, 02:56

Thank you :)

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Post by ananya92 » 17 Mar 2017, 12:07

Seems like an interesting and well researched novel. Good review!

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Post by debo9967 » 17 Mar 2017, 21:30


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Post by gali » 15 Jun 2017, 06:55

Islamic terrorism, conspiracy, and espionage make for an exciting read. It is nice that the "author’s wide journalistic experience lends a high degree of credibility to this novel". Sounds like a good read for fans of the genre. Thank you for the review!
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by tarafarah7 » 15 Jun 2017, 07:36

Your review was fantastic, @debo9967! Very professional, in fact! Great job! I think this book is going to do quite well as #BOTD! You put my own worries to rest when you said that it was easy to follow, even though there were multiple characters and plotlines to follow. The writer's personal experience is what will make this novel a true success. Congrats to the author and thank you for the discount! Good luck! ?

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Post by Sarah_Khan » 15 Jun 2017, 09:04

Great job on the review! This book sounds like just the thing to read for people who like action-packed espionage novels. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like my cup of tea so I think I'll have to pass on it.

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Post by Gravy » 15 Jun 2017, 09:32

Too bad about the lack of pivotal female characters.
Sounds interesting, but I'm not sure it's for me.

Thank you for the review.
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Post by peabutreese » 15 Jun 2017, 09:44

What a great review! Its been awhile since the last time I've finished an entire book to be honest. This review convinced me to read this book and I'll be reading it now..

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Post by Estrelldamilola » 15 Jun 2017, 09:49

From the review, the writer as done well to aggregate history with technology. I think it will be an exciting book and full of suspense.

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Post by Jlvyso34 » 15 Jun 2017, 09:56

Desert Hunt does not sound like a typical book that would capture my interest. With the lack of female characters, even less so. I will unfortunately be passing this read by even though the poster wrote an excellent review.

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Post by MarisaRose » 15 Jun 2017, 09:58

I'm not usually a fan of political thrillers, but I like the realistic premise of this one. Interesting OBC review too!
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Post by mindyg123 » 15 Jun 2017, 10:10

Great review. A novel with terrorists and a nuke makes an interesting story to me. I love novels about espionage and from what I've read in this review the story line is believable. I can't wait to read this intriguing novel. Congrats on being BOTD.

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Post by Khaya » 15 Jun 2017, 10:14

Sounds like a well-researched, accurate novel for those interested in eastern cultures and intelligence agencies.

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