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Sunday, May 17, 2009

North from Calcutta - Duane Evans

Nuclear bomb? Check. Evil leader bent on instigating war? Check. Beautiful woman? Check. Optimistic overweight sidekick? Uh...check.

North from Calcutta follows Tarek Durrani, a Pakistani intelligence officer, to London, Bangladesh, Dubai, the Himalayas, and a few other places in attempt to stop a plot to cause a world-changing war between Pakistan and India, as well as save the woman he's hopelessly fallen in love with. Seems like a typical action/adventure, 'save-the-world-before-it's-too-late' kind of tale, but it's really not.

While meeting with architect Advani (his last name; his first is way too long to even attempt to spell) about the plans of a dam named Farakka Barrage built north of Calcutta (hence the book's name), he meets Advani's beautiful daughter Sahar and falls head over heels. But after obtaining the plans he needs for Farakka Barrage, Durrani learns of a plot to blow the dam and pin it on Pakistan. Worse still, a commencement ceremony at Farakka Barrage is to take place with both Advani and his daughter present, putting them as well as hundreds of others in the possible line of fire. It's no wonder Durrani call on his connected, jolly and plump sidekick Habibi to help in stopping the plot's execution.

To be Evans' first novel, he writes like a veteran. Could definitely be owed to his own personal experience as a CIA operative, but even still, he uses all the right words to describe the situation in just enough detail to keep the reader enthralled and begging for more. I'd recommend the writers of 24 pick this guy up - he could make for some amazing scripts for season 8!

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