Medical thriller is a genre that has not been very familiar for the Indian readers. Medical suspense clubbed with historical fiction calls for a unique, interesting, bestseller. As normal the title ‘Bombay Fever’ seems, the plot is as complicated, unique and a far cry from the clichés.
A Swiss resident Srilankan girl who is back from her homeland brings with her unrelenting cough that seems to worsen day by day. She collapses in the arms of an Indian journalist Hormazd, and her body simply disintegrates to gore. Unhinged with the bizarre incident, Hormazd flees the spot to reach back India, though with the infection whatsoever he acquired from the girl. On reaching home, he assorts to self medication like many Indians, with a cocktail of antibiotics that temporarily subdues his cough that comes back with unforeseen ferocity which eventually becomes the cause of his demise.
Unbeknownst to himself, he became a brooding ground of mutated resistant variety of bacteria that unleashes an unprecedented chaos in the city of Mumbai. The health care officials, civil servants and politicians alike works towards untangling the mystery behind the strange disease which causes the death of hundreds of Mumbaikars. Thenceforth readers witness a thrilling yet chilling tale of death, science, politics and history.
The book is evidently about an epidemic outbreak but opens door for several genres of literary foray. The common habit of an average Indian of taking self medication and the dangerous consequences is portrayed with conviction. Potential danger that can be caused with this practice is often overlooked but a situation like what mentioned in the book cannot be ignored as fictional. Everything is fictional till it happens but afterwards it is history. Another major topic that the book throws light to is the social media fever that propogates any foolish information and the practice of believing and practicing anything and everything that is shared in social media.
The Beta protocol practice is a topic that left me wondering if it’s history or fiction till I read the author interview. The author is indeed well researched and has succeeded in knitting history and fiction so seamlessly that the readers would not be able to distinguish between both.
Much attempt has not been made in character build up. Due to the large number of characters and due to so much happening in the plot, the lack of character craft could be justified but the character of Dr. Anil Bansal warranted more detail. Somewhere down the line the repeated detailed account of the meltdown sounded monotonous.
Overall the book is a cliffhanger that the readers would find difficult to let go off their brain.
This review is in return of a free book from the publisher