PSYCON by Varun T.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is supposed to be a political thriller. It has characters from PM of the country to CM of UP, CBI top cops, corrupt IT officers, businessmen, middlemen and scrupulous tax manipulating CAs. It starts with a lot of promise. Does it stay true till the end? Let’s see.

PSYCON is the name of the firm which is an acronym made up of the names of two of the founders (Prateek Subramaniam and Yashwardhan Sharma Consulting firm). A new regime under the leadership of Narendra Bhai Doshi is in place at centre. In UP the state is headed by MS Yadav of Samuhwadi Party (SP). These two chaps are CA who works as pimps of IT officer Meena. Modus operandi of them is ingenious. They calculate probable black money income of corrupt businessmen by going undercover. Then they calculate probable tax liability. Meena sends IT notice for double the amount and then sends these two to settle on his behalf. They ask half the money to wipe the slate clean and thus everyone is happy. But this is a dangerous game as they ruffle the feathers of many corrupt and powerful persons in the state. One of them is Sunderlal of BJP. All hell breaks loose when Acchelal Yadav, a backward person & coal baron goes missing and PM sees it as an opportunity to score political points with Backward community. Enter Kaamte an IPS officer working for CBI who is handpicked by Doshi to find him out. This sets a high octane thriller.

The book starts with a lot of promise. The stories in the beginning are interesting and ingenious. They extract crores from corrupt businessmen. These stories are more like description of disparate events and written in a rushed fashion and reads more like non-fiction. After these stories the chase begins for Acchelal. The story becomes protracted and convoluted. And by the end this becomes a very clichéd revenge story. It is Bollywood style thriller which asks for suspension of belief. In true Bollywood style it has a dead father which is to be avenged, a sister who has cancer, burning alive the corrupts and justifying it. In fact in the end PM declares in a press conference what happened, so very filmy.

This is not what is expected from the book. The weakest point of story is that it reads like propaganda of BJP and denigrates others.

Still 3/ 5 stars for the ingenious con game at the beginning. Second half is avoidable.

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A new regime is manning the reins of governance in India, having arrived on the scene with an anti-corruption agenda. With the IT Department chasing down tax evaders to curb the menace of black money, party funds begin to dry up, a year before Uttar Pradesh goes to polls.

Enter Prateek Subramaniam and Yashwardhan Sharma, through their brainchild, PSYCON.

Set in the heart of UP, the duo works to assist the ruling party’s agenda of conquering the Hindi heartland. Their mission: amassing the funds the task would need. Between harassing businessmen to shell out money and making money in the process, they make quite a bit in the initial windfall. And yet, a can of worms is opened when the CBI enters the picture.

Do the two con their way out of the CBI’s grasp? Will truth prevail in the land of Satyamev Jayate?

Or will they find reality too bizarre to handle?

The royalties earned by the author from this book will go to PM’s National Relief Fund.

About the author:

Hailing from the small town of Satna with humble beginnings, Varun has come a long way by establishing a prominent name for himself in the FMCG space. Varun's professional stints are replete with awards of recognition but his heart has always been in the literary space since his association with Guts & Glory, a book published by SIBM Pune in association with Rupa Publication. Now, he longs to write about the complex interplay of societal norms and self-interest, redefining the demarcations between good and evil, in a world driven by propaganda, where truth is never absolute and public perception is the king. A die-hard fan of the honourable Prime Minister of India and a keen observer of the evolving political environment in the country, he has dared to challenge the existing notions of the society with his endeavor: PSYCON. The book does not merely scratch the surface of societal evils like black money and corruption but also rips apart the draconian system, under which such evils prospered and became the accepted norm.
The royalty earned by the author from this book will be donated to the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund.

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