The Treasure Syndicate – Book Review
The Treasure Syndicate – Book Review
Book: The Treasure Syndicate
Author: Jatin Kuberkar
Reviewed By: Manas Mukul
Publisher: Vishwakarma Publications (21 Sep’19)
Pages: 260 (Paperback)
Price: 325 INR
ISBN-13: 978- 9388424745
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
My rating: 3.5/5
Treasure hunt stories are always fascinating. One becomes curious by the simple mention of it. We have been hooked to such stories since childhood. There is a subtle mystery element to it to go along with the thrill. The Treasure Syndicate by Jatin Kuberkar is a modern day treasure hunt story with a fictitious mythological connection to it.
It is the first treasure hunt story that I am getting to review. I would like to express my gratitude towards Blogchatter’s Book Review Program for considering me this book review and at the same time would like to apologise for the delay in writing this review.
About the Author
Jatin Kuberkar is a software architect and a hard-core Hyderbadi. When not tangled in software codes, Jatin lives his dream as an author. He has authored two books so far. “While I was waiting”, a collection of short stories, and “Cabbing all the way”, a novel based on his real life experience of travelling to work in a shared cab.
The cover page has a big crypto symbol – the meaning of which one might figure out when they read the book. The lower half of the page has silhouettes of five figures with digging tools depicting a treasure syndicate. The back page has the blurb and a small about the author.
The story is set in a fictional place somewhere at the border of Telangana and Maharashtra. The plot revolves around five main characters that form the modern day treasure hunting group known as ‘The Treasure Syndicate.’ Acharya Agnihotri, who is an astrologer is the leader of the pack and is also a ‘Nidhi-Palak.’
The author introduces a mythological backstory to the concept of Nidhi-Palak – ‘When Kaliyug resolved to enter Aryavarta, and encountered the last Pandav King, a curse gave the world its first ‘Nidhi-Palak’ or the Guardian of Treasure Troves in the form of Lord Kuber’s mortal son, Suta. In time, the Guardian bloodline scattered all over the world.’ Acharya is one such Guardian and considers it his ancestral duty and destiny to uncover age-old hidden treasures scattered all around the world.
The concept draws a slight resembles to the concept of the secret ‘knights templar’. Jatin has taken creative liberty in stating some fictitious mythological facts.
A treasure syndicate by rule required five members – Acharya, the Guardian, the super-rich Dr. Mahesh, nephew of Acharya who is also the financer of the projects. Jabbar, a legendary digger with generations of experience, Kumar, a taxi driver whose was hired because of his unfaltering luck. Srikanth is the fifth member, a common man, and was there to provide the right balance to the group.
The story begins when Acharya gets a fit at a site to inspect for ‘Vastu-dosh’, which he believes as an indication for a hidden treasure underneath that site. In next steps Acharya assembles the five members – Dr. Mahesh and Jabbar had accompanied him on previous projects while it was an all-new task for Srikanth and Kumar, which at times becomes too complicated for them to comprehend.
From there it becomes a roller-coaster ride where Acharya tries to convince the new fellows and tries hard to keep the group together under suspicious circumstances, while somehow convincing the site-owner to sell his house. Whether he was able to hold the group together and whether they were able to unearth any hidden treasure from site, for that you will have to read the book.
The character sketching is decently done where one reads multiple shades of each character. Having said that there are less sub plots which makes the narrative engaging. The language is simple and helps the story in its moderate pace. The mythological angle is not over powering and just serves as a backstory. The story takes place in a modern day world which makes it more relatable and believable.
The middle somewhat drags where one becomes slightly impatient whereas the climax could have been a little bit stretched. There is a Bollywoodish twist right at the end which you might be able to predict. The story doesn’t flow effortlessly.
Strung together by coincidence, fate and destiny, the mission is not a cakewalk. The dangers are life threatening and at times the stakes are even bigger than matters of life and death. Will they succeed?
With unlimited treasure spots to be hunted and with the right characters, it has all the ingredients to become a franchise. The Treasure Syndicate by Jatin Kuberkar ticks more boxes than not; I am going with three and half stars for this thrilling treasure hunting story. It is a good one time read.
Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul
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