The Hitman Book Review: A Twist In A Thrilling Tale

The Hitman Book Review: A Twist In A Thrilling Tale

The protagonist is Vivek, a despondent 40-year-old on the verge of his birthday in a city where he has travelled on work

Vidya HebleUpdated: Thursday, November 23, 2023, 02:45 PM IST
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Book: The Hitman

Author: Manoj Jain

Publisher: Notion Press

Pages: 126; Price: Rs 299

IIM Ahmedabad alumnus Manoj Jain’s surprisingly edge-of-the-seat book has a quote – incongruously from Vladimir Lenin – at the end: “There are decades when nothing happens and there are weeks when decades happen.”

This quote is also on the book’s flyleaf, and it sort of sets the tone for the story. But that’s only one aspect of it. The book is both thrilling and mystical – which you realise only on reaching the end, when various things add up and fall into place in the mind of the protagonist as well as the reader.

The protagonist is Vivek, a despondent 40-year-old on the verge of his birthday in a city where he has travelled on work. The trope of the strange watering-hole in a new place is used aptly here – he walks into the intriguingly-named Brahmaan Bar, where he ponders his existence and wishes it would end.

Strangely he meets a fellow drinker at this bar, who strikes a deal with him to grant him his wish in a hundred days – he will ensure that Vivek dies then. Our depressed hero decides to accept this offer, and returns to Mumbai the next day.

The hitman, who gives his name as Brahmaan (the same as the name of the bar), communicates with Vivek by email and phone, and so the saga begins.

But it is not as easy as that, is it? As Vivek gets on with his days, counting down to the fateful date, people and incidents (and even a small animal) insert themselves into his life – each of which has an uncanny significance, and even a relationship to the mysterious Brahmaan/hitman.

Obviously, this life-and-death deal that Vivek has struck has an effect on his mind. While he is still in a low state, especially when he thinks about the girl he loved and who had betrayed him, he however finds himself dealing with new things in his life. And he notices coincidences that remind him of his encounter with the hitman. But are they coincidences? Or are they part of a plan to redesign Vivek’s life and outlook?

Not unexpectedly, when the big date arrives, Vivek has changed his mind and no longer wants to be bumped off. He emails the hitman… but is it too late?

Read The Hitman to find out. It’s a slim book, but packed with punch.

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