After a hiatus, I am back to penning my thoughts about the books I read. And I start with Back Ender, written by Udayan Mukherji. The title of the novel propelled me to pick it up. With so much buzz about Ender’s Game and the recent Ender Chest from Minecraft game, I was curious to know what this Back Ender is all about.
The book cover shows a man holding a gun and a dark figure approaching from the front in a somber background giving an impression of a suspense thriller. As it is often said, don’t judge a book by its cover. Jackets could often be misleading. Anyways, diving deep into the character of our protagonist Pinto, I didn’t mind my prenotion.
Pinto starts his career as an IPS officer who later joins ISA or the Internal Security Agency of the country. His job includes keeping an eye on anything unusual or any corruption or similar illicit stuff. He guides a team of watchers and handlers in carrying out surveillance. The leads were passed on to the police or other government agency to take the investigation further.
The above detail was a brief look into the story. Various plots run across the story as the scenes of surveillance. Many watchers keep an open eye and come to the office to report any fishy or untoward incident. These scenes arouse curiosity as they give a whiff of suspense. They were good to read.
Our protagonist Pinto has been depicted as a level-headed, regular family man with many friends and dedicated to his work. His family life with a wife and two kids adds energy and freshness to the story.
Characterization has been top-notch. Every character has a uniqueness, a clear role to play, and takes the story forward. I loved the way Pinto’s friend Rajesh solves crossword, or his boss Raghavan playing with words, readiness and sleuthing traits of his PA Swamy, glaring looks of Sher Singh or easy mannerism of his driver Ganga and many more would enhance the experience of knowing them.
The conversations between characters like Pinto and his friends, Pinto and his family further helped to charge the story and carry the plots effortlessly. I loved the snappy and witty dialogues and harmless sarcasm made me break into a smile every now and then.
A cinematic feel in the writing of the author makes it easy to visualize the scenes. Also, the author didn’t shy from throwing in some weighty words, once in a while that I have to scramble for my mobile to check the meaning of the words.
The story has a little suspense, little thrill, some exciting moments, minus any murder, let alone the use of a gun. To be honest, I thought how could one create a suspense thriller without murder. But Back Ender can keep you hooked in a secretive manner that you never would have thought.