Thursday, December 12, 2019

Book Review: 'The Brotherhood (The Brotherhood Chronicle Book 1)' by Tejas Desai

The Brotherhood by Tejas Desai

Seething with mystery and thrills!

New York author Tejas Desai received his education from Wesleyan University, Oxford University, and CUNY-Queens College and is a Supervising Librarian for Queens Library. In addition to his published books – THE HUMAN TRAGEDY series (noted for the award winning novel GOOD AMERICANS) and THE BROTHERHOOD CHRONICLES TRILOGY – he is the founder of The New Wei literary movement, an important venue for promoting provocative narrative artists, and an actor, playwright, culture critic, and educator!

Tejas is an American born Indian and utilizes his knowledge and experience with Hindu culture enhances the mystery of this involving thriller. His prose is both elegant and at times raw – a combination that fits his story well. The sense of mystery is present as the novel opens – ‘Union Square was finally quiet. Four a.m., when even the homeless quit the streets. Priya, tears streaming down her face, wearing her favorite panjabi, stared down as if the street was an abyss rather than a sign of promise. Once, it had seemed that way; once, she had watched enviously at the women swaying down the street with their Prada bags. One person could take it away from her. But she knew she’d already taken it away from her self. The long journey down didn’t seem as empty as her future – or as void as her soul.’ How better to hint at suicidal ideation than this…? 

For this Trilogy, Tejas has created a unique central character in Niral, and the story unfolds as follows: ‘Niral Solanke, a failed writer and a down on his luck private investigator living in New York City during The Great Recession, is trying to redeem himself from a life of sin by rejoining a conservative Hindu religious organization called The Brotherhood. But when his childhood friend Priya Mehta dies mysteriously, he is tasked with investigating her demise. As he probes her boyfriend, wealthy financier Vishal Patel, her brother, Hindu fanatic Amrat Mehta, and a wide variety of characters including visual artist Lauren Juvonich-Adams and building custodian Lance Portman, he realizes nothing is as it seems as he is drawn into a netherworld of crime, betrayal, religious hypocrisy, sexual deviancy and much more, until shocking revelations threaten his core beliefs—and his very existence.’

Brilliantly conceived characters populate this engrossing novel and in addition to penning a fast paced thriller, Tejas provides a detailed map of New York City, a very helpful list of characters to keep us on track, a fine Glossary of Hindu Terms and study guides and entertaining trivia questions. Reading this novel is both entertaining and pleasantly educational, offering insights into Hindu culture and religious elements. Highly recommended. 

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.