The Edge of the Machete : Reviewed
Let me tell you what this book is not. It’s not a book meant for the faint hearted. I myself felt my intestines twist & turn reading a select few paragraphs. With due credit to the author, the scenes are so credibly & vividly described that the written words can successfully shake your whole being. The Edge of the Machete is no James Bond inspired novel. Abhisar Sharma does not even try to sugar coat the words, it’s the bare truth laid out naked for the reader.
The Edge of the Machete is a fast paced novel set in the backdrop of the current terror attacks. We begin with the video of a CIA agent’s brutal murder being filmed. Jason Wilson’s last few moments & his cold blooded murder at the hands of the 21 years old Aamir Sherzai gives the readers a glimpse of the madness of these jihadi groups. The video reaches Jason’s best friend Ed Gomez who now seeks revenge. This desire to avenge his best friend’s death gives birth to a risky & yet brilliant plan. And Sarfaraz Khan is born.
As Ed tries to control the rebelling Sarfaraz in him, another person is at crossroads, unsure of his actions & the result of believing in his faith, Shaun Marsh decides to let Shahid Khan become his identity. Will he give up his love Amanda Hurst to become a true believer & practiser of his religion? Being prejudiced life long in London, will he be readily accepted into the fold of his faith or be questioned because of his origin? And at last there’s Rahul Sharma-the man passionate about journalism & equally in love with Afghanistan. He soon finds himself kidnapped for his audacity to have entered the country in spite of being an Indian. Will he be able to see his wife & mother again or meet a fate similar to Daniel Pearl? Three men & the one person connected to them –Aamir Sherzai, all at one place, the Beast. With a CIA agent under cover, an ill fated journalist and the maniacal jihadi, who will win this game of treachery?
The characters are wonderfully created, each one painted in their unique shades. No one is perfectly bad or good. A close up of what goes in the minds of a jihadi, what a man facing death must feel, each and every emotion is aptly described. No wonder you’d shudder at some points, wishing the author hadn’t been so cruel after all. But a journalist himself, Abhisar Sharma has left no room for mercy. A good research & a convincing plot are the strengths of the second book of his Taliban Conundrum Trilogy. What I liked most was the twists and turns he produces that seamlessly carry forward the story. Although a bit lengthy (yes 300 pages but the font is tiny!) The Edge of the Machete doesn’t tend to digress and keeps the reader engaged. A good read, if you have patience & don’t possess a feeble heart. I give it a rating of 3.5/5
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This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program