|Disclaimer:||I was kindly sent a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review from the author DS Kumar.|
An erotic and romantic thriller set in urban India is about as unique a novel as I have had the pleasure of reading so far. I think in so many ways it is to acknowledge boldness when it is due, and this novel if anything is as bold as they come. Set in Bengaluru and Mumbai, India the plot follows the story of Subash Bodhi a young entrepreneur who, along with his friend and business partner Rohan Dhawan, has created an energy drink company called Guerilla Energy. The business is successful and soon everyone in India is drinking their product, but it’s not necessarily success without a little sacrifice. Guerilla goes into business with the big bad Bhasani Group, a family-run empire that seems to have its hands in almost every proverbial pie there is. This business relationship will be both the beginning and end of Guerilla Energy as slowly but surely Subash and Rohan are chased out of their own company through rather devious means leaving our anti hero determined to exact revenge on Bhasani.
Set to be inherited by his son Prakash, Alpesh Bhasani and his evil empire have been responsible for a number of injustices over the years. With this knowledge in mind Subash goes in search of other people who have been ill-treated by the Bhasani group, and devises a plan that will bring some relief to himself and those that have also been mistreated. He names his plan and his group of vigilantes The Battle of Bombay, and so begins a thrilling adventure involving false identities, computer hacking, corporate espionage and seduction.
Those fighting in the Battle of Bombay include Mohini, a former prostitute whose love affair with Subash seems a little one-sided at times but who is nonetheless brilliant at being a badass. Vijay Prabhu is a young computer hacker who had previously served six months in prison because of Bhasani, and whose skills during the battle are undeniable. Arjun Mahar is a martial arts expert whose brother once worked for the Bhasani group at one of their chicken plants, and whose untimely death at the factory without compensation or explanation has left Arjun angry and ready to help Subash no matter the consequence. Subash also manages to convince a couple of well-known porn stars during the group’s short time in America to help them with yet another attempt at sabotage across the oceans.
The Battle of Bombay is full of over-the-top shenanigans involving this very unlikely team whose diverse skills, unique characters and colourful dialogue make for an entertaining story that has the reader rooting for these modern Mumbai ‘Robin Hoods’. It is very likely though that the reader will find Subash to be rather unlikeable in certain circumstances, especially in his treatment of women, however his overall intent is noble and hence we are able to look past this anti hero who questions authority and whose observations regarding convention and tradition are refreshing. It is also important to mention that the novel contains very graphic sex scenes which, though surprising in their detail, are not offensive or out of context.
Romantic Guerilla is entertaining and heart-warming, exciting and sexy, with extraordinary levels of sabotage and a subtle love story thrown in which makes this one hell of a page-turner!