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Operation Fox-Hunt by Siddhartha Thorat is a fictional thriller from Srishti Publishers. The first thing that struck my mind as soon as I saw the cover page was about the terrorist attacks on Mumbai just a couple of years back. A rugged font highlighting the operation name – Fox-Hunt; as the name implies this story is about an operation about hunting a character named – Fox. Now, who is the – Fox? Is he the terrorist or a saviour being hunted by the bad men – the story unveils?

As soon as you hear the word – Operation what do you think about? An army, a few senior personnel and a plan to catch hold of the target – right. Nevertheless, there is much more beyond these fancy introductory players of the game. Are you interested in learning more and that too along with the adrenaline rushing through your veins? Then, do not miss reading this master plan strategic account from a debut author, who surprisingly happens to be a marketing professional and an army brat.

The story is set on the very dear plot of every single Indian heart – Pakistan and India, with the adjoining nations as the story demands. The sweet-sour relationship between India and Pakistan is a sensitive issue and needs to be handled with utmost care and the author has succeeded in his efforts. The story is not at all biased towards any nation or any group rather it just revolves around the said – operation.

The Pakistani army’s special group, named – Special Service Group is the governing authority with Major Shezad Khan as the acting person. They plan an attack in India with the help of five ferocious militants from Lashakar-e-Taiba. As expected, there is a man – Sanjay Khanna, who has been assigned the task, to avoid reaching these militants to their assigned target. Will he succeed? Yes or No? Why or Why not? Will the operation ‘Fox-Hunt’ succeed?

Despite of being a thriller with an army-militant mishap backdrop, the book (read as story) is as smooth as silk. You need not be well versed with all the technical terms, the designations and the group names. The author has taken care to assist you with the tricky aspect by providing a handy list of all the terms and abbreviations used in the book. Beyond this, there is no need to research more.

Not only the technical aspects, you will definitely appreciate the creative bent of mind of the author as he grips you with the minute details right from the first sentence of the story. You land into another world as soon as you complete the very first sentence and return to present as you read the back cover.  He leaves no void to break the continuity of the story, an appreciable effort.

Starting from Afghanistan – Pakistan border to Kabul (Afghanistan) to Islamabad to Rawalpindi to Cherat (Pakistan) to Kupwara (J & K) to Kupwara – Baramulla border to New Delhi to POK to Tajikistan to Mumbai to Bangladesh to Chandigarh, the author makes you travel through length and breadth of the South Asian sub-continent in order to ensure that the right target is identified and fox gets hunted in a well-planned and in a strategic manner. And, it does. You travel across timelines as the characters descend from one location to another for completing their tasks.

I felt as if I was myself experiencing the event occurrences live. The thrill was second to none. The story reminded me of a documentary about the assassination of Osma-bin-Laden, telecasted on Discovery channel. A deadly act, I admit. Once you complete reading the narrative, your respect for the armed forces will achieve new heights. You will actually realize how the system and forces work and implement the deadly missions – nothing less than harbouring a heroic attitude.

A recommended read especially for the armed forces personnel, it is actually because they are the ones who go through such experiences on regular basis and are in better position to appreciate the efforts put in by the author. In addition to this, book-lovers, who feel attached to the motherland and are curious to know how the things turn and developments take place behind the news headlines, as telecasted on television sets. Not to mention, aspiring authors, who would aspire to write a thriller (suspense) some day.

I congratulate Siddhartha for successfully accomplishing his Operation – Reader Hunt.