Looking for a suspense read that’s a bit different? Look no further than The Caretaker. Ranjit Singh is an honorable and brave man, trying desperately to hold onto his Sikh faith in a country, that, at times, feels very unwelcoming, and he’s determined to do the right thing for his family. However, he finds himself harboring a forbidden attraction to the Senator’s lovely wife and in possession of something that could have international repercussions. In India, he was a decorated Captain, but the tragedy that befell his last mission still haunts him, and he’s plagued with hallucinations. For fear of his life, and the lives of his family, returning to India isn’t an option, but he feels like he’s fast running out of options if he doesn’t find out why he’s hunted by men who are prepared to assassinate him.
Ranjit Singh is a new hero to root for, and although The Caretaker is certainly an effective mystery, it’s also a portrait of a man trying to stay true to himself, and keep his dignity intact, even as he strives to acclimate to a new country, with vastly different rules. The present day narrative is interspersed with scenes from his doomed mission on the Siachen glacier, and serves to round out his fascinating background. Ahmad’s particular strength is in his three dimensional characterizations, especially as he explores racial and cultural divide. This is a superior debut.
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