Author : Manohar Malgonkar
Publisher : Rupa
Genre : Thriller
Summary : In the eerie silence of the Ragyabas monastery, nestled in the icy splendour of the Himalayas, a riveting drama unfolds. Fearing Chinese intrusion, the Head Lama of the monastery orders the transfer of the Panchen Lama’s priceless jewels to the Indian government for safe keeping. When the Chinese learn of the plan, they send to New Delhi two of their most ruthless spies—the deadly Chomo Jung, and the beautiful Pempem Kachin, who is well versed in the art of using her wiles to achieve her ends. As the adventure plays out in the vast emptiness of the Himalayas and the murky corridors of Lutyens’ Delhi, the seamiest sides of human nature are revealed.
Brimming with suspense and tension, Spy in Amber is an iconic espionage thriller from one of India’s most outstanding storytellers.
Thoughts : The book starts off in Tiber with the Lama’s abode and introduces us to the mission the story is about. We watch it unfold as the enemies and the friendlies take steps and set the ball rolling. The first few pages promise a great story with quite but competent writing and a very interesting tale that’ll make you buy more of the author’s books. But then it crashes. My main gripe about the writing itself is that some parts of it is repetitive. For eg: “Her apartment that overlooked the entire complex of the Jantar Mantar” and two tiny paragraphs later about the same apartment “Which overlooked the Jantar Mantar.” But apart from these snags nothing hinders the flow of writing till the word “Honey” comes in. Boy was that annoying (unless they are translating from Chinese which hasn’t been mentioned)
It is a tiny book. At 130 pages it gives you a bit of detail while not sounding too rushed. Rushed, but not too rushed. It would have been better with 70 more pages to aid the flow of the story and make it something more than a train journey read. But as it progresses it tries to speed things up and what we end up with instead is a Bollywood script in book format. The ending? SPOILER. I mean you would think that the Indian government would send more than one trainee agent and his nurse girlfriend to stop a plot to steal millions or billions worth of Tibetan treasure. But no, and the cherry on top? A fat cat saves the day. This was a total FacePalm ending which left me disappointed. This book could have been so much more. 2.5 stars.