This book is definitely inspired from the life of Mr Charles Sobhraj and the protagonist is not as imaginative and fictional as the author would like us to believe.
Now coming to the book:
The protagonist of the book - Johnson Thhat/Edward du Monde (call him what you like) is born to a Veitnamese mother and an Indian father who are not exactly the picture perfect parents. A disturbed childhood, a rocking adolescence leads him into the world of crime which seems to be his true calling in life.
Johnson's life from Veitnam, to France, to India and Thailand and back to France and his promotion from petty street crimes to murders followed by dizzying crimes involving global network forms the central premise of the book.
The book heavily borrows events from Charles' life right from earliest Bangkok killings, poisoning of French tourists and his 20 year stint in Tihar jail to avoid an extradition to Thailand where he could have "faced a firing squad".
The character, Johnson Thhat, is a man of razor sharp wit and intelligence who does not show any kind of remorse for his crimes. He is a dark character with an amazing charm and an ability to get away with almost anything, however outrageous maybe. (just like our very own Charles Shobhraj)
Now somebody should just ask Mr Dhondhy one thing - sir why did you not contact Charles Shobhraj and written a duly acknowledged biography????? Well, the answer clearly lies in the last pages of the book, which virtually swept me off my feet. Mr dhondhy reserved his best for the last and not for once did he lose his pace in the last few pages. Well done, sir
A highly recommended book because of the sheer wit the author shows in the end of the book. Paisa vasool, guarantee