The Run and Hide (The Brotherhood Chronicle) - Book Review

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Book Review of :  The Run and Hide (The Brotherhood Chronicle)


Tejas Desai delivers another spellbinding, chilling, and complex page-turner novel set mainly in Thailand, India, and the U.S. The Run and Hide is the second volume in the Brotherhood Chronicle. Niral Solanke is caught up in the international underworld of debts, diamonds, dames, and murder. He straddles the fence of being a straight honorable investigator, or a mole, and a criminal.  A diamond merchant based in Bangkok, Niral becomes a middle-man drug dealer as he deals with the social mores and conflicts of Indian culture, the caste system, and Hinduism, Buddhism, and other minor religions.

            The complex characters in the novel are easily followed, as their stories are based in the setting of a particular country. Somewhat confusing are the multiple names given to an individual character. Characters, however, are well fleshed out. “One (man) was white with long, dirty blond dreads. The other was Indian. He had distinctive white blotches on his face, like clouds in a sweetened cup of coffee.” The backstories of the individual characters are carefully woven into the plot.

            The author writes from actual experiences or extensive research in his descriptive settings. He includes foreign words with explanations, ie. “She performed a wai-a Thai greeting and sign of respect.” He knows foods, “nam prik num, an appetizer…Kanom jeen nam ngeeo, consisting of noodles in a pork and tomato broth, and … lychee ice cream.” An extensive glossary is also included to aid the reader in learning about these different cultures.

            The author’s knowledge of the setting is evident as the main characters “drove through curving roads and honking rickshaws, dust swirls, and fearless pedestrians.  They avoided an ox in the middle of the street.” "Truckers chewed and spit paan as they passed. Wooden shanties perched on the muddy hillside."

            From the opening paragraph of Bob’s experience with "Thai mythology murals of pierced pigs, demons with raccoon eyes, mass slaughter, and deities appearing as ape-humans," the reader can easily become mesmerized by the well-described cultural climate of the Asian countries. The intriguing story of duplicity and a whirling vortex of heinous crimes compound as the characters follow a cycle of corruption and greed. Sinister crime lords, confused detectives, and drug dealers add mystery and adventure to this noir fiction.

Desai has created with powerful prose a story that is timely, fascinating and told with a variety of nuances that keep the reader thoroughly engaged. The Run and Hide book two of the Brotherhood Chronicle ignites with diversity, immoral dilemmas, and a riveting look at the customs and ways of other cultures.  If you want a peek at the Asian criminal underworld, this is the book to read. Expect a volume three in the series.

Reviewed by: Carole W

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.

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