Is Your Lucky Number 13?

Review of Lucky For Some, 13 – You Can Smell The Fear; Prem Rao; Mahaveer Publishers 2012; Rs 150; pp 296

– Shana Susan Ninan

Pointing a cursor to the latest terrorist attacks in India in the last two years, Prem Rao is here with his second book, a crime thriller. From the first page on, the novel is full of action and drama, keeping you glued to the pages. Except for a few places where I found the plot loosing its sense of urgency, the story is intriguing and characterised well.

Lucky For Some, 13 starts off with an attack in Goa by a few terrorists. Two of them are caught alive, two are killed. And the hero of the operation is Major Mohini of the NSG. Her father and brother both served in the Indian Army (yes, like in his first book, you can find that Prem brings in characters from the defence forces) and she, too, takes after them, leading the operations fearlessly. She later settles for a less risky job of that of a personal security officer and advisor of an Indian-origin US businessman Dash Sawney who chooses to live in India. More specifically, the ‘Opulence’ in Bangalore.

The next scene of action is ‘Opulence’, but before that you can see a whole lotta preparations going on. Terrorist outfits based in the US recruiting agents and sleepers, organizing funds and personnel, stocking weapons and ammo, pitching in base level workers in different places, and updating their data on those living in and buying apartments in ‘Opulence’.

The second attack, the one in Bangalore, is more detailed and gory, with Mohini’s work cut out for her. Her boss’s American wife, Alice Hatchman a.k.a. Aleesa Suleiman has a hazy and trouble-filled past. But little do you expect her to take up arms against her own countrymen, let alone join a terrorist outfit that takes rich people hostage, including her own husband. Her ruthlessness and those of her “co-workers” comes across well.

With a little bit of trimming here and there, and a good run-through over some details, this book can be one of the best in its genre in the country. Prem Rao has the making of an interest-creating thriller writer.

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Rating: 9.8/10 (6 votes cast)
Is Your Lucky Number 13?, 9.8 out of 10 based on 6 ratings

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This entry was posted on Sunday, February 17th, 2013 at 1:13 pm and is filed under Crime, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


  1. February 17th, 2013 | Ajay Varma says:

    You are being kind. The book is a let down esp. for those who admire Prem and loved his first book.

  2. February 28th, 2013 | admin says:

    Well, that’s how an author develops. One, or two, or even five books might be good/bad/okay, before he or she is properly established.

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