The Brotherhood (The Brotherhood Chronicle) - Book Review

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Book Review of :  The Brotherhood (The Brotherhood Chronicle)


The thought-provoking mystery thriller The Brotherhood by Tejas Desai is an introduction to the complicated, little known Hindu culture of the Queens area of contemporary New York City.  The author writes with the power and conviction of personal knowledge of the culture and the city.  He includes a glossary of terms for readers who aren’t familiar with the religious and interrelated family mores of Hindus. Foreign language terms are treated with definitions: “gold odhni, a scarf-like cloth,” and “a sanyasi...someone who renounces worldly desires.”

            The scene opens with concise, in-depth character development as Niral Solanke, a private investigator, is faced with the suicide of his friend’s sister, Priya. Desai painstakingly creates the victim’s persona by dropping bread crumbs of Priya’s backstory, qualities, hopes and fears as he expands the novel’s breadth. He provides hints of who she was with revelations like, “Then one day she just changed. She got cold.”

Screaming about things she’d never cared about. She wouldn’t talk to me, but told me to “leave her alone and give her space.” Something was wrong with her. 

            Edge of the seat tension and thrills, twists, and the unknown leave the reader trying to guess the motive for Priya’s suicide, or was it murder?  Hindu culture is central to the plot. The philosophy of a person’s nature not having to do with heritage, and not tied to past, except to the extent that they are enslaved by it is important. There are many manifestations and personifications of the trinity of Hindu Gods that influence the characters’ actions.  The Hindu religious organization, the Brotherhood, provides a unifying aspect to the elaborate plot.

            The mysterious underworld of the Queens borough, however, leads Niral into greed, backroom money laundering, blackmail, and murder. He searches out hovels and mansions, high-class restaurants and brothels, back alleys, and the subway searching for answers to Priya’s death.

            Desai’s action writing is visceral.  Niral is being held underwater in the ocean.  A sharp pain slices his stomach. A knife is in his belly.  Kicking, he lands on the ocean floor with weight on him.  His mouth is wrenched open. He reaches for his gun. Closed his eyes and pulled the trigger.  He “came to the surface, spitting out saltwater, karate chopping, and coughing.”

            The conclusion answers questions but leads to others. The Brotherhood challenges the reader to immerse themselves in a different world. This mystery thriller leads the reader to an expansive literary universe of noir fiction and is the first of an international crime trilogy.

About Tejas Desai


Tejas Desai was born in New York City. He is a novelist, short story writer, blogger, educator, librarian, and the founder of The New Wei Literary Movement and Collective. He has won the Wesleyan Fiction Award, sponsored by Norman Mailer, and has been a honorable mention in the Princeton Poetry Contest. He holds both a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing/Literary Translation and a Master of Library/Information Science.

Visit for more information on Tejas Desai

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