GYPSY ESCAPADES (Rupa, Rs 250) by William J. Jackson is the story of four friends from different cultures who travel across India — the “land of poverty and wealth, deserts and jungles” — dodging lethal attacks and going all out to avert a catastrophe. The protagonists are Jill Rothchild, a smart American graduate student; an agent of the Research and Analysis Wing, Venky, and the Narikuravas, Sing and Kinnari. The four of them brave different climates, meet quirky characters and narrowly escape with their lives from murderous thugs who are armed with the latest gadgets. They change disguises frequently and make their way through mountainous terrain in order to reach the extremist leader, Kebab. The latter wanted the four friends dead and was planning an attack that would wreak havoc all over the subcontinent.
The story has an element of suspense and the setting is apt — the Indian landscape acts as a great background. The language is simple and free-flowing, making this book an interesting read.