The Jeera Packer by Prashant Yadav is a gripping political thriller. Reading this book was like walking on an undulating surface. With a complex plot, a number of twists and turns and non-stop thrilling action, the book kept my eyes glued to the pages. The author has done an excellent job of not only setting up a solid plot, but also building memorable characters around this plot. At the same time, this book isn’t really about plot twists. On the other hand, it is about some of the unique nuances of Indian politics, Indian judiciary and Indian administrative systems. The major strength of this book; however, is the peek into the Indian political world; a world fuelled more by ambition rather than true devotion to political ideologies and goals. You find almost all the elements of Indian politics in this book.
The story revolves around an ex-gangster, a well-known sharp shooter of his time. After leaving the life filled with violence 27 years ago, he is now living a peaceful life with his wife and son in Noida. He and his wife are running a grocery store successfully. However, he is not happy with his monotonous life. He finds himself unsatisfied. He finds his life unfulfilled. His old life is calling him back. He is missing his gun. Shooting was his passion and he keeps whining about it in his mind constantly. Then it just hits him. While he cannot start killing people again, killing an influential evil person and getting away with that will calm down his mind. It will not only quench his thirst of killing, but will also make his life a fulfilled life. Killing such a person would be a good feat, he rationalizes. He decides to assassinate Chief Minister of UP, an evil person in his eyes. But, he is not the only one. There are a number of other people who want to kill Chief Minister. So, what happens next? Well! You have to read the book to know that.
I found The Jeera Packer to be a really enjoyable and fun read. Prashant Yadav hits all of the right notes about the culture and dynamics of UP politics. He is a very engaging writer with a keen eye for plot. The book has a steady pace. The book has an interesting cast of characters and it was fun spending time with these characters. Though I liked almost all the characters, the character of the main protagonist truly stands out from the others. His character seems to have been snatched from real life. His character is done with honesty and readers will stand with him in his every step. His inner conflict, nevertheless, could have been portrayed in a more meaningful manner. This, according to me, is a lost opportunity. While the writing is excellent and prose is stunning, the editing could have been tighter. A number of simple grammatical mistakes could have been avoided. However, these grammatical errors didn’t really interfere with my enjoyment of the book.