Review of 03:02 by Mainak Dhar

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Name         – 03:02

Author                  – Mainak Dhar
Publisher              – Westland
Number of Pages – 350
Publishing Year   – 2016
Edition                  – Paperback
                    – 295
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Rating : 5.0

At 03:02 on a Sunday morning, the world as we knew it came to an end. Mumbai suddenly went black — no electricity, no phones, no internet and no working cars. It was as if someone had turned off the master switch of our civilization, turning us back hundreds of years overnight. We learned that it was not just Mumbai, but much of the world that had been impacted. We also learned that it was no accident. A deadly enemy was behind it. An enemy that was now in our midst, seeking to conquer us and destroy our way of life. This is how our war for freedom began. A war that was to be waged not on the borders or by the Army, but in our homes and streets, with us as the soldiers. This is our story. ’03:02 celebrates fictional heroes who fight for our freedom, but to give back to the real heroes who do so every day, for every copy sold, a contribution from author royalties will be made to the National Defence Fund, which takes voluntary contributions to help armed forces service members and their families.’
My Review

Right from the title, 03:02 is a book full of surprises. By surprises it doesn’t  mean that the book is full of pleasant incidents. Definitely not. Surprises are all about the freshness of the effortless narration. Being an author myself, when I read a book,  I used to imagine what the writer would be thinking while writing a particular sequence. But in this book not even once I thought about the author. All my thoughts were focussed on the protagonist(Adithya). What does he look like? What he would be wearing? What he would be feeling?  All in all, by the end of the book I started believing that there was indeed a person called Adithya who took  the responsibility of the nation during the imaginary black out. Sad part is that we cannot simply sit and think that this is pure fiction. Any time the nightmare can come true. 
After completing the book,  I rechecked it for praises but unfortunately I could not find any. I would like to presume that this is because I got an ARC. During the second edition,  there would be a back cover fully dedicated to praises.

A well crafted story. Perfectly executed.  Impeccable character portrayal. Only flaw I could find was the overdone formula of squeezing in a girlfriend and some making out sequences. Thankfully  author did not bore the readers with the details. Nevertheless I believe that it was unwanted. 

I recommend  the book to all thriller lovers. Mainak dhar proves that Indian authors can pull off thrillers with close knit storyline and with action sequences which are never overdone. I hope to see the book on silver screen soon. 

Reviewed for the publisher
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a
complimentary copy in exchange for a honest review. I was not required to write
a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

About the author

After finishing his schooling at Modern School, Barakhamba Road and his under-graduation at Hindu College, Delhi, Mainak Dhar graduated from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He has spent two decades in the corporate sector starting with Procter & Gamble in India. He spent eighteen years with P&G, fifteen of them outside India across the Asia Pacific region. In 2014, he moved back to India as the CEO of the India operations of a major consumer products multinational. A self-described cubicle dweller by day and writer by night, Mainak is also the author of over a dozen books, some of which have been bestsellers in India and abroad. These books have been translated into Turkish, Vietnamese, Japanese, French, German and Portuguese. He lives in Mumbai with his wife, Puja and their son, Aaditya. When not at work or with his family, he can usually be found working on or thinking about his next book.
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