Amar and Jonah played chess in childhood before a series of events ripped their friendship apart. Now, they’ve grown up and find themselves challenging each other again – a dangerous game of chess with extremely high stakes involving their lives and the lives of millions of people – a game that takes them on an audacious journey from the valleys of Kashmir to the corporate houses of London. Who will survive and who will win?
The Child of Misfortune is a geopolitical thriller which has diverse subjects like weapons and biochemicals, cyber-terrorism and hacking laws, the illegal drug trafficking industry, anti-terrorism and money laundering, corruption, paedophile ring and even Khangpae, the South Korean mafia or street gang. The story spans across various places viz Leh, Kashmir Valley, Seoul and London.
Amar and Jonah met when they were in class 10 at school and right from the beginning they were fiercely competitive. They carry this competitive streak even as they grow up. Jonah is the mysterious and cryptic kind but is very sharp. The game of chess binds them. Amar’s father taught him that the entire psychology of chess can be crystallized into 3 simple concepts of Tabiya, Prahuti and Samjiti i.e. Opening, Sacrifice and Conquest.
Jonah challenges Amar to a game of online chess which is based on these 3 concepts. Amar is not able to understand Jonah’s intentions and plans, initially but soon catches up and gets it right and helps to close what Jonah had started.
The pace of the story is good and keeps the reader glued to the book as the two protagonists move across various geographical locations. I liked the interesting insights the book gave on various contemporary subjects which goes on to prove the detailed research that was done in the writing of this book. The cyber hacking or the social engineering and its tricks and rules made for a very interesting and insightful read.
The tone of the story is very honest and one can relate to it! The end is a bit rushed and all the loose ends were tied up hastily. I wish the author had explored a bit more about the rivalry of the 2 protagonists when at school and also about Human Yeti. The story of the Three Kings and the role of Amar’s father in it, at the very last page, left me a bit disappointed. But looks like there is going to be a sequel to The Child of Misfortune, so, hopefully all that would be taken care of in the second book.
Right from the very beginning, as I started reading this book, one thought that got strengthened with each turning page was that The Child of Misfortune is one book that definitely deserves a big screen adaptation.
The Child of Misfortune is an interesting and intriguing read and a very promising debut.
To know more about the author and the details of TCOM, please visit www.soumitrasingh.com