Breach is a nail-biting thriller by Amrita Chowdhury. After a long time I found a thriller by an Indian author that read almost like a Michael Crichton book. The story travels across the U.S. India and China and this is precisely why the web of deception becomes more real and identifiable in today’s age and time when everything is just but a click away.
Breach has many characters and goes back forth from India to America. In the beginning it felt extraneous to have so many characters but the author has tied up the characters seamlessly at the end. She is a master story teller who has done all the research required to make an exhilarating crime thriller with hackers and research scientists all tied up together to weave the up the intriguing tapestry.
The wonder cancer drug Colare is up for approval and with a few weeks to go a data mismatch is apprehended that sends the Colare team both in the US and India in a hot trail to catch the perpetrator of the breach. Unfortunately the major portion of the blame lies with the India team as all the data is stored at the India outfit much against the chagrin of the American counterparts. Dr. Uday Vir Dhingra manages to convince the American boss Adam that India would be a good alternative for off shore data storage and research. Therefore all hell breaks lose when the breach is detected at the India end.
Amidst corporate espionage and data corruption on the net, Vir gets embroiled in a personal turmoil too. Between figuring out how to solve the problem before he loses his job and making time for his American fiancé Tracey, he also finds himself inexorably falling for his earlier girl friend Ditti. Like this was not enough he also finds himself right in the middle of I teenagers and apparently ignorant slum dwellers involved in hacking.
All the characters involved are very well etched out and each have an important part to play in the bigger scheme of affairs. The narrative is so vivid that one can almost see the story unfold before you. What gets in the way is too much technicality and jargon. That the author has researched well is evident but she could have been more judicious about detailing every bit into the narrative. It would have made story more tight and crisp. The other gripe I have is how Tracey is almost booted out of Vir’s life. At the end of the day, she did take the trouble to travel all the way to India and also check out places where she could possibly fit in and work whereas Ditti actually walked out of his life early on and drifted back in for no apparent rhyme or reason. This bit seemed very contrived.
On the whole a well written thriller and I would recommend it to book lovers to give this book a try and I promise it will not disappoint you.
Breach by Amrita Chowdhury
How secure are your secrets in the virtual world? Weeks before pharma-giant Acel is ready to file a global patent application for cancer wonder-drug Colare, its offshore data centre in Mumbai is hacked. The charismatic, young leader of its Indian business, Dr Udai Vir Dhingra, finds himself being blamed for negligence and breach of security. Battling market pressures, media scrutiny, livid American bosses and crumbling relationships, Vir must find the perpetrators, or see his career – and his life – spiral downwards. But the deeper he gets dragged into the shadowy world of masked online identities and muddied digital footprints, the more Vir discovers that nothing is easy or obvious, and everything has a price. Set across Mumbai, Washington and Guangzhou, Breach is a compelling and edgy cyber thriller that explores the dark and dangerous underbelly of our increasingly virtual existence
Amrita Verma Chowdhury is the author of Faking It, an art crime thriller about fake modern and contemporary Indian art. She holds engineering degrees from IIT Kanpur and UC Berkeley, where she was a Jane Lewis Fellow, and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon (Tepper Business School). Her work as an engineer in Silicon Valley led to seven US patents for semi-conductor fabrication – something to show for those bad-haired days. She has done Strategy Consulting and Board Effectiveness work in the US and Australia and has spent long nights fitting five-syllable words inside two-by-two squares. She has worked in the rarefied bastions of Ivy League education bringing together ideas and people. She currently works in publishing.
She lives in Mumbai with her husband Sumit, their two children Shoumik and Aishani, and an assortment of pets including a cocker spaniel, a guinea pig and two turtles. She loves travelling, baking cupcakes with her daughter and hearing from her readers.
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