The title Venom, in a way, is apt for this mythology-based modern thriller. What this Satyarth Nayak thriller does through it riveting narrative is to mirror the poison that mankind has spread. This fiction adequately mixes Indian mythology (specifically Mahabharata) and modern crime drama.
Mumbai cop Parag Suri gets mysterious packages with encrypted dates that warn of murders of prominent celebs. He and author Om Patnaik must stop them. But the killer is one step ahead. Meanwhile, in Manipur, a tantric Atharva is mystified by his daughter, Indira’s, drawings. They lead to film superstar Ashwin Tomar who wants to defeat and change his rather haunting past. He is aided by his mysterious secretary Yeva. What are these two upto? What is the horrifying outcome of their baffling activities? What does all this have to do with the Mahabharata and the Chiranjeevis? When Atharva, Indira, Suri and Om join forces, the revelations are extraordinary and the dangers can change mankind for the worse.
The last decade has seen numerous Indian writers build their careers by writing thrillers based on Indian mythology and history. These have caught everyone’s fancy, though not as much internationally as Dan Brown’s books. But Indian readers want more of such thrillers. With the deep roots of Indian mythology and history, stories are abounding. There is no stopping them.
And Nayak manages to make a mark in this genre. His Venom makes readers want to burn the midnight oil. This compact yet fast-paced thriller navigates through the twists and turns effortlessly. The mythology aspect, especially the Mahabharata and Chiranjeevis connection, gets well-mentioned. Nayak gets full credit for making readers connect the dots and read ahead. Readers understand the nuances of our mythology and are surprised with information, arguments and back story.
However, one thinks about the unnerving and unsatisfactory climax. While the characters are to the point like the book, you just don’t connect with them. Possibly Nayak just wants readers to enjoy the thrilling narration of a haunted character extracting revenge in present-day India.
Satyarth Nayak’s Venom slowly (but positively) spreads its poisonous tentacles of a gripping thriller that keeps readers hooked while checking on Google for the mythology references. It’s thrilling!
Author: Satyarth Nayak
Price: Rs. 399