BirdWatching By Stephen Alter Unveils a Thrilling Experience in the Snowcapped Himalayas Intertwined with History

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 Birds are the carriers of happiness. Seeing them fly in the sky and listening to their chirping has been one of my favorite pastimes. It is a soothing experience for everyone but have you ever thought that the same experience would bring you one of the rare experiences of your lifetime – witnessing a murder? Set in the background of the Sino-Indian war of 1962 wherein the snowcapped mountains of the Himalayas unveil the unknown secrets. Birdwatching by Stephen Alter is an unforgettable reading experience for nature lovers who want to read thrillers.

Birdwatching by Stephen Alter

What the blurb says

When American ornithologist Guy Fletcher stumbles upon a dead body near Chanakyapuri, New Delhi’s diplomatic enclave, he does not realize that his life is about to change drastically. Soon, he is recruited into the CIA and sent straight into the heart of a secret war raging in the Himalayas. Alongside him are his two unlikely partners—the enigmatic Captain Imtiaz Afridi of the Indian Military Intelligence, whom he meets on a hunting trip in Kashmir, and the mysterious but alluring Kesang Sherpa, who saunters into his world in Kalimpong. Their missions and emotions are inextricably entwined, the three must learn to trust their own instincts, and one another, to uncover what lies beneath the dazzling Himalayan snow. Set against the backdrop of the Sino–Indian war of 1962, Birdwatching is a gripping tale of high intrigue and mystery.

When corpse tell the tale

Fletcher is on a wanders in the quest of the life of vultures to stumble upon a corpse. Who is the dead man? 

Soon he is sucked into the whirlpool of investigations, suspicion, and unforeseen methods of interrogation. 

Soon Fletcher is hired as an American spy to see the operation on the Indo-China border. 

What started as a mere birdwatching experience unfolds to a surreal thrill and nail-biting mystery. Each chapter begins with the introduction of different forms of birds. The author has also deftly merged the plot with the life 

of the birds. It is interesting to see how he has wrapped the plot in such a way that the bird that was seemingly

 unconnected with the plot is found in the middle of the scenario. 

The caricatures

The caricature of the characters is subtly mixed with the main plot. The author has established the characters without specifically mentioning their idiosyncrasies. This in turn is a witness to their finesse.As the plot develops the characters lead the plot. However, the author failed to establish the Indo-American life of the protagonist and had to deliberately make it obvious to reach the readers. However, this did not hinder the reading experience. 

The twist that leads

Once Fletcher reaches Kalimpong with his new identity carrying the facade of birdwatching, he meets Captain Imtiaz Afridi of the Indian Military Intelligence, whom he meets on a hunting trip in Kashmir, and the mysterious but alluring Kesang Sherpa. Further, the plot takes off and the readers faces the challenge of not being able to put the book down.

About the author

Birdwatching by Stephen Alter

Stephen Alter is the author of more than twenty books of fiction and non-fiction. Wild Himalaya: A Natural History of the Greatest Mountain Range on Earth, his most recent work of non-fiction, received the 2020 Banff Mountain Book Award in the Mountain Environment and Natural History category. His memoir, Becoming a Mountain: Himalayan Journeys in Search of the Sacred and the Sublime, received the Kekoo Naoroji Award for Himalayan Literature. In the Jungles of the Night: A Novel about Jim Corbett was shortlisted for the DSC South Asian Literature Award.

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