Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Book Review: 'The Run and Hide (The Brotherhood Chronicle, Volume 2)' by Tejas Desai

The Run and Hide by Tejas Desai

‘Only live your life as it is, not bound to anything’ - Siddhartha

New York author Tejas H. 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. As this is the second volume of his series, Tejas provides an up to date orientation for those who have yet to read volume one: ‘After the cataclysmic events in New York City, Niral Solanke, scarred both internally and externally, was banished to the other side of the world to the country of Thailand, where he began working for an international criminal gang called the Dragons. He had incurred a debt after his friend Wan, a Dragon associate, saved his life and helped him find the Italian-American mobster Roberto Tragliani. The amount of debt was unclear, but Niral did not care. For the next few years, he was a broken shell of a man, discarding morality, sex, religion, and anything else but the simplest pleasures, surviving day to day in a world that had grown increasingly violent and inhumane…’

And all that leads us into the adventure of THE RUN AND HIDE, or as Tejas describes, ‘Niral Solanke, the awkward private investigator from The Brotherhood, is surviving in a sinister Thai underworld when he receives an assignment that reunites him with the Hindu religious organization The Brotherhood and its new leader Bhai. What follows is a balance of loyalties, a test of wills, and an examination of trustworthy sources as Niral is plunged into a new set of international mysteries and adventures. Along the way we meet crime lords, financiers, detectives, hired killers, politicians, ascetics, military generals, drug dealers, prostitutes and many others including: Rob Johnson, an Australian killer with special, conflicted loves; Bob Macaday, fresh out of witness protection and hankering for action; Apsara, a beguiling Thai stripper with mysterious motives; Duncan Smith, a diamond merchant caught between career and family; Lance Portman, an African-American custodian mired in the grind of New York City politics; and Detective Nat Sachinkowdon, dedicated to his job but tortured by his past.’

Brilliantly conceived characters populate this engrossing novel and in addition to penning a fast paced thriller, Tejas provides a fine Glossary of Thai, Australian and Indian Terms that are not only ‘enlightening,’ but also vastly entertaining! Reading this novel is both a pleasure and a pleasantly educational venture, 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.