I have read many kinds of thriller but cricketing thriller is first of its kind when I start reading The Big Fix by Vikas Singh. In fact the core plot being cricket and that too thriller made it tempting enough to read the book. It has already received words of praise by author like Ashwin Sanghi who is also known as Dan Brown of India for thriller books like The Krishna Key. The book has everything to keep you on the edge just like the thrilling 20-20 matches were odus of victory keep tilting from one team to another with each ball.
The story is on the fastest format of cricket that is 20-20 and you will find the book is also moving at the fat pace though you may find it dragging at some points but over all it maintains its speed which is something makes a thriller unputdownable.
The Big Fix might be the work of fiction but it draws heavily from real events of cricket world as a consequence one could easily relate to the book. Vikas Singh has done a good research on how different things works in the cricket. Till now we were seeing cricket but always wish to know whats going behind it. The Big Fix gives quite a spine chilling accounts of it.
The hero of the book also the team captain of 20-20 format Shaurya Chauhan is going through a rough patch, his team is on the verge of elimination annual ICT T-20 carnival tournament. Things becomes worse for the captain when after having a verbal spat with the coach, the latter was found dead. Shaurya becomes a prime suspect.
Murder of the coach will definitely ring bell in the ears. Remember Bob Woolmer who died suddenly during 2007 World Cup in West Indies,, just a few hours after the Pakistan team’s unexpected elimination at the hands of Ireland. There is a similar situation in the book as well.
Chains of the murder leads to match fixing and betting which is so very common in India. In the book, the author has explained in detail how it all actually works. How match-fixers searches for vulnerable players and lures them with handsome amount to affect the result of the matches.
Underworld, media, bollywood and the police gives enough twist and turns in the story to keep the readers engrossed in the book. But what pleases the most is the description of the cricket matches. Yes, in the admist of all the mayhem, Vikas hasn’t forgot the T20 matches. Every match description is very lucid and vivid which takes us to the middle of the pitch.
The sledging episode in the book will remind to many real life sledging between Harbhajan Singh and Mathew Hayden, Glen McGrath and Shivnarine Chanderpaul and many others. There is also juicy details of off-field activities as well which appeared to be very authentic.
Verdict:Whatever I have read related to cricket was autobiographies and biographies of the cricketers (recent being Mahi by Shantanu Guha Ray), movies based on cricket but never before I have read a fiction on cricket. So this was a welcome change and what an scintillating thriller fiction to read. Go for it. The Big Fix is worth every word a read.