Literature+Fiction,  Mystery, Thriller+Suspense

Eleventh Hour By Hussain Zaidi

Finally with the monsoon slowing down its pace, my reading too has settled into an easier pattern. A book that I read to keep me company when the rain was at its peak was Hussain Zaidi’s “Eleventh Hour”. Years back when I read Black Friday, also by Zaidi, I remember being hooked onto it. Black Friday is Hussain Zaidi’s chilling account of the 1993 Bombay bombings. I consider it a one of a kind book that brings in the minutest of details- the blasts, the aftermath and the investigation that followed. Well-researched, it lays out authentic facts, woven into a gripping non-fiction piece to read. So picking up Eleventh Hour was indeed mandatory.

However I was surely disappointed this time. A fiction based on real life events, Eleventh Hour is a story of cops and terrorists; hijack and brutal murders that read more like a Bollywood action flick.

What’s the book about?

It’s been over nine years since the 26/11 terror attacks. For the good cop in town, Vikrant Singh, the bitter and deep wounds haven’t healed yet. His impulsive actions lead him to be suspended from his department. Meanwhile, there is a prison break, with five dreaded Mujahedeen’s escaping. Vikrant Singh is pulled in un-officially to track these terrorists. In this quest, along with his mentor, Vikrant stumbles upon clues after clues, to realize the bigger operation that’s been chalked out by a larger terror organization- an operation that would bring about greater destruction within the country. Amidst all this is a hijack of a cruise liner, off the islands of Lakshadweep. With tourists and their lives at stake, it is up to Vikrant Singh to risk his life, and ensure people are brought to safety, and ensure the terror attack isn’t executed.

My thoughts on the book

Decent amount of research has been done in weaving a story around real life incidents. Fast paced indeed as Zaidi takes you along with Vikrant Singh, chasing clues. However, the narration failed on a few fronts. Though he brought in clues after clues, it wasn’t entirely gripping for me. Way too predictable, I found myself skimming through the clues. Also, what started off as almost believable, with actual facts of the hidden arsenal cache of 1993, the book slowly moved onto Vikrant Singh’s super cop image, something which resembled a potboiler Bollywood action movie.  

A fairly decent read, a bit racy and but not very riveting. This is the best I could describe “Eleventh Hour”. If you have read his Black Friday, then you could be in for a disappointment, for this isn’t anywhere close to it.

Eleventh Hour

The book is available on Amazon in paperback and e-book format.

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