Readers will be pleasantly surprised by Don K, the first book in a proposed series of organized crime novels in the tradition of cult classic films like The Godfather and Pulp Fiction. Newcomer Motupalli S. Prasad’s style is unusual and somewhat quirky, with a confidential first-person delivery that favors narrative over dialogue and action; but his gift as a storyteller overrides any preconceived flaws. He captures the reader’s interest quickly and holds it throughout this gritty life story of a legendary crime ringleader as seen through the eyes of a knowledgeable, older protector. The effect is comparable to sitting around a campfire listening to the exploits of a seasoned cowboy.
Prasad’s meticulous attention to softer details makes the infamous Don K both a sympathetic human being and a frightening and powerful underworld boss. These details enhance the quality of a novel that otherwise would have been too similar to competing fiction.
Don K, born Ranganathan Kandaswamy, is the son of a corrupt police officer who grew up on the “wrong side of the law.” This rough background taught Don K how to advance himself to a position of intimidating authority. He experiences pleasure, pain, and loss in a luxurious realm of endless money and shocking betrayal, a world where loyalties are tested among family and friends. The novel follows Don K from his youth to his eventual demise.
Born in Bombay, Madras, author Motupalli S. Prasad is a dental surgeon who graduated from Osmania University in Hyderabad, and then immigrated to the United Kingdom. He held posts of residency in Maxillo Facial Surgery in Edinburgh, Scotland; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Malamo, Sweden. After forty-two years in practice, he retired from medicine in 2008. Dr. Prasad now lives in Chennai, India.
From a literary perspective, Don K is an in-depth character sketch. Looking at the novel from an entertainment angle, the story reveals a fascinating interplay of events, reactions, and emotions in a high-stakes, fateful world few could understand. Prasad provides readers with a probing look at the inner workings of organized crime, revealing incomprehensible behavior and devastating consequences—an admirable start to a series that holds promise.
Julia Ann Charpentier
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