BY TAMMY SCILEPPI
A new international mystery thriller book series by an Indian-American author takes readers into an imagined criminal underworld that strikingly mirrors some of our contemporary realities.
At once timely and exciting, Tejas Desai’s “The Brotherhood Chronicle,” is a must-read and will keep you guessing.
“In the essence of Queens, I wanted to write a genuinely multicultural crime trilogy that moves at a breathtaking pace. It takes on contemporary issues like religious fundamentalism, political corruption, the relationship between individual and community, as well as ethnic, cultural and gender identity,” said Desai, who was born and raised in Flushing, where he has lived most of his life.
“The characters are very ethnically, culturally and socioeconomically diverse, and the books teach the reader a lot about Hinduism and Buddhism even as you’re engaged in a riveting mystery thriller that never stops entertaining,” he added.
And, you’ll also learn about Thai and Australian cultures.
“The Brotherhood Chronicle” features a fast-paced, action-filled plot that overflows with mysteries and surprises, entertaining dialogue and fascinating characters. And, while much of it is set in Queens, you’ll find that the other settings are also “amazingly rich in culture, like the lush beaches of Thailand, the gritty streets of India, the sleepy towns of the American South,” Desai noted.
“So, if you like gritty crime thrillers that make you think, then this trilogy is up your alley,” he added.
The books even have Glossaries of Terms to help you along, including definitions of Indian, Thai and Australian cultural words and slang. It’s no wonder because Desai, a supervising librarian, has been working for the Queens Library for more than 11 years.
In the first book, “The Brotherhood,” the reader meets the main character, Niral Solanke, a down-on-his-luck private investigator living in New York City. Solanke tries to solve a baffling crime while navigating through a complex underworld where many strong personalities are vying to influence him. While he ultimately solves this crime, its complications lead him toward a personal downfall.
The two sequels, “The Run and Hide,” and “The Dance Towards Death,” branch out to exotic settings in southeast Asia and the American South, where Solanke now finds himself embroiled in international and domestic adventures and intrigue. In the second book, we find him living in Thailand and working for a criminal organization called The Dragons. But a special interest brings him back to The Brotherhood in India.
While being drawn into an exotic netherworld of corruption and decadence, the reader encounters further mysteries and crimes. And you’ll come across a plethora of diverse characters involved in personal dramas and political intrigue.
“Tying [the books] together is a mysterious Hindu religious organization called The Brotherhood, as well as a wide criminal network which comes more into focus as the trilogy goes along,” Desai said.
The two sequels will be published in September 2019 and September 2020. “The Brotherhood” is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle Edition.
In 2012, the author founded The New Wei literary movement, which seeks to promote provocative and meaningful narrative artists. Through his New Wei publishing company, he also released “Good Americans,” a collection of six stories (one of which is told in three-parts) as the first volume of his “Human Tragedy” series (on Amazon).
His articles on literature have been published in HuffPost and other publications.
But Desai, who holds a MFA in Creative Writing and Literary Translation from Queens College, said his greatest education has been “on the streets of Queens and during my frequent worldwide travels, where I’ve interacted with, listened to and observed people of all types.”