Recently I came across an exciting thriller in The Caretaker by A. X. Ahmad. It was an exciting read indeed and here I am sharing my views with you. Just guess who the real caretaker is taking care of Martha’s Vineyard mansions.
Who is A. X. Ahmad?
Mr. A.X. Ahmad is a full time write from India. He had formal education at MIT and worked as an internationally acclaimed architect before taking up writing as a full-time profession. The Caretaker is his debut novel as A.X. Ahmad, though he wrote short stories and essays in many magazines as Amin Ahmad before.
The Caretaker in short
Ranjit Singh often gets haunted by a hallucination of his disgraceful past as a Captain in Indian Military Service. Thus he shifted himself to Boston (as an illegal immigrant) with his Preetam and young daughter Shanti. He is desperately trying to start his life afresh leaving behind the scandalous past aside. He took a work in the grocery store of his uncle for his leaving. Later, after a couple years he found a job of caretaker on Martha’s Vineyard, which is inhabited by some rich residents. Among them leaves an African-American politician called Senator Neals with his wife Anna Neals. They just returned from North Korea as a Hero.
Ranjit was staying in a rented house nearby which is off-course not in a very good condition and is suffering from heavy oil leakage. Passing the winter became really tough for the whole family, and with no suitable options available, they decided to spend the winter in Senator Neals’ house (as they will be absent for the whole winter). So they secretly move into the Senator’s house. The real problem started from here. One night two armed personnel attacked the house. Ranjit fled with his family immediately as they were also trespassers and could be arrested. Unfortunately Shanti, the young girl took a wooden doll from the house while fleeing and later it was clear that it was the wooden doll the two attackers were after. So Ranjit and his family found themselves in a real tangle indeed. Unknowingly, they became a part of a massive political scandal. He is a wanted now and has only limited resources and more importantly very little time to save himself along with his family.
Now who are these intruders and what is the mystery behind a simple wooden doll? To save his family Ranjit has to answer them as quickly as possible. Will he be successful in unravelling the secret and save his family? Will his scandalous past in India be untangled as well? Will he get back his dignity?
The thrilling story revolves around both past and presents (secret military operation in Siachen Glaciers and Martha’s Vineyard). Several action packed sequences in Indo - Pak border, Boston, in islands make the novel really a page turner. The novel is well written with nice easy flow and all the characters depicted very well indeed. The life of immigrants in the US is also portrayed very well. Moreover the fast pace of the novel is just the right icing on the cake
The gripping tale will take you to height of excitement with an engaging plot. It is that rare breed of books which you will find difficult to let it down once started.
With Caretaker, I am a happy reader at the end of the day. I must congratulate the author for his debut novel and looking forward for more such exciting thrillers in the near future.
Author: A.X. Ahmad
Number of pages: 294 pp.
Book price: 399/- INR
Book Source: Indiblogger
This post is a part of the Book Review program of Indiblogger in association of Harper Collins