ISBN to be allotted, Status: Fourth Revision
Mock Up copy: Ready, Number of pages: 650
Print on Demand copy: Rs 900-
Author: L. Prakash
Publishers: Banana Publications, 2011
ISBN : 978-81-906981-7-7
Price : Rs. 249/-
Rating: ***** (5 bolts)
After reading this gigantic novel which runs to 625 pages…all I can say is Whew!!!!! Thank God that I finished this book. The book gave me sleepless nights the last 4 days. I usually start reading at around 10:30 pm, and my usual light reading fare is for around one hour daily. But TRIAL kept me awake till around 1:30 am each day, and mind you I am blaming the author for causing me insomnia.
Trial is not your regular John Grishamesque style of a legal thriller. Its one step more- meant for the hardened reader, more keen in understanding the nuances of the legal system, rather than the thrills and chills of it. We can in a way compare TRIAL to the legal fiction works (I emphasize on the word legal fiction, which is at least three steps above the genre legal thriller) of the kind written by Scott Turow and Richard North Patterson. You cannot read and enjoy Patterson or a Turow all the time. They do not churn out thriller after thriller. They write frugally, you get a new book only every two years or so….but what you get and what you read remains with us for a long, long time. I can still recite the plot without missing a beat of any Turow or Richard Patterson novel; but often get confused with the plots of the Grisham novels. True, I enjoy both Turow and Grisham- but as a lawyer I believe that we should encourage more of Turow and Richard North Patterson.
Enough of blah-blahing, what I meant to say is that TRIAL reminds me of the classic works of Turow and Patterson, a hard-hitting legal fiction novel that succeeds as both a thriller and as literature of the first order. The novel is about the case that follows after a big goon is killed in broad daylight in Chennai. Through the protagonist Prannay, who is called on to defend a case of a life time- the author presents a bleak view of the Indian legal system. Corruption, nepotism and bribery are the order of the day- and even judges are not far away from succumbing to these vices. This novel is to Indian literature of what the award winning movie Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho was to Indian cinema.
Dr. Prakash, the author (who has worn many hats including that of an expert orthopedic surgeon, of that of an adventure sports enthusiast, and presently is in jail on charges of pornography)- is India’s best known and prolific popular fiction novelist. With TRIAL, the author proves that he is not a simple thriller- chiller author, but an author extraordinaire…who can even rival the likes of Vikram Seth and Vikas Swarup in Indian literature.
A good novel, you might not want to read it again and again…but the single time you read it- the plot will stay with you forever. As a lawyer I found the book both interesting and thrilling and at the same time disturbing. Is this the true future of our legal system??
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