Title: The Fixer
Author: Suman Dubey
Genre: Crime Fiction
Price: Rs: 213
Link For Purchase: The Fixer
An old-world decaying Upadhyay business empire set in the capital city of Delhi; a history of ego and power struggle. An ageing matriarch, Sudha. A politicking son, Ramesh. A prodigal grandson, Gagan, who has crashed the business to the ground. A bitter granddaughter, Nandini, who is waging a proxy war against her family for forcing her into a bad marriage. A debauched womanising grandson-in-law, Jayshankar, who is working with the mafia to take control of the same business empire. And the other billionaire grandson, Akash, who had moved out of the fold to build his own business empire and now wants to take over the family business to avenge past crimes. Caught in this family feud, the youngest grandson, Neil, a failed but talented cricketer, is oblivious of this toxic environment, and in his simplicity believes in the elder’s unconditional support through the family’s cricket team in the new launched ICCL. The same nativity which killed his cricket career now poses the greatest threat to his plans for redemption as he becomes a pawn in the family politics. The bitter battle to control this team quickly becomes a full-blown war to avenge old wounds and control the destiny of the family. All of them become ‘Fixers’ when the stakes rise in this war. Gradually they shed their mask of morality and duty to reveal their dark souls and bottled-up selfish aspirations. Will this family survive and uphold its legacy or combust in this deadly game of cricket-politics-mafia and match-fixing.
The book opens with a prologue that really piqued my interest. This book is about the battle of a man who has seen glory in the past in the form of a short career in Cricket, and who now wants to leave behind some kind of a legacy. By legacy, I mean he wants to leave behind something with a lasting impression that has his stamp on it. He had a short career in cricket because he was unable to turn his great potential into something historic. After he fails in his cricketing career, he starts a cricket academy which also ends in failure due to lack of promised support. Finally after, ages he is appointed the assistant coach of his family’s Cricket team in the ICCL, a cricket league. Even in this he finds himself side-lined. He is thwarted at every step by favouritism and infighting. All this is brought out with a lot of aplomb by the author. The book is a page turner and the breath-taking excitement is maintained continuously.
The protagonist is a bit naive, in the sense that he is not familiar with the wiles of the rich and powerful who control league cricket. As the story progressed I found that the author has brought out the protagonist’s naivete in such a way that we felt really sorry for him. The protagonist, in addition to failure in his cricketing career, also has to face a failure in his love life. His long standing girl friend leaves him. In addition to being a story based on Cricket, the story also involves a battle for the control of the family business. The author has intertwined the two things, i e the corruption, match-fixing, favouritism and all the other nastiness involved in Cricket on one hand and on the other hand the fight for the control of the family business very cleverly. This is done is such a way that it makes us keep turning the pages non-stop. The book keeps us entertained throughout and there is not a single dull moment. The protagonist is betrayed at every step by his powerful cousins and has to fight all the way in his battle for attaining his goal.
The one thing I felt was the chapters were too short most often. Most of the chapters are just two or three pages. There are both pros and cons in writing a book with very short chapters. Let me explain. I am one of those people who never take a break in the middle of a chapter. So whenever I want to take a break after a three page chapter I found that the next chapter is again a short one and I continued to read. This is a good thing actually in a way. It keeps the reader turning the pages. But the main problem with writing a book this way is that sometimes the continuity is broken. Another thing I wanted to mention is that the ending of the story was a bit forced. I could not help wishing it was more natural. The author has tried to give us a surprise ending but it hardly comes as a surprise and proves to be a bit of an anti-climax.
Yes, you can definitely pick up this book for a read. It is definitely a page-turner and is very interesting and fast-paced.
I am going with a 4/5 for Suman Dubey’s “The Fixer”. I have cut off 1 point for a poor ending.