Home / Books / The 2nd Fugitive: A Unit 22 Thriller By Mainak Dhar | Book Review

The 2nd Fugitive: A Unit 22 Thriller By Mainak Dhar | Book Review

In our quest to find the authors worth reading, we found Mainak Dhar a few years ago. In Enemy Hands: A Novella– was the first book penned by him, we got a chance to read.

Eventually, we got a chance to read many of his books and share our views for some of them.

We also had an interaction with him in the form of an author interview.

These facts prove that we love reading his books. Simply because, they are worth reading. And, as you know, we judge each book on its own merit. Not, based on who is the author or what is genre of the book.

Book Title : The 2nd Fugitive
A Unit 22 Thriller Unit 222 Thrillers - 2
Author :
Published by : Self Published on Kindle
# of Pages : 1835 KB; (Kindle EBook)
Purchase Link(s) :

Today we are going to talk about his book “2nd Fugitive“. It belongs to “Unit 22 Thrillers” series and continues the story of Major Aditya Sen and his team and family from where we left them at the end of “1st Assassin“.

Book Cover:

We firmly believe in the saying that “A book should not be judged by its cover”. At the same time we also acknowledge the influence of a cover page on remarkable number of book purchase and/or decisons. That’s why always talk a little about the cover page when talking about a book. So, let us take a look at the cover page of this book as well.

The 2nd Fugitive: A Unit 22 Thriller By Mainak Dhar | Cover Page

The 2nd Fugitive: A Unit 22 Thriller By Mainak Dhar | Cover Page

Let us take a look at the cover page of 2nd Fugitive.

As you can see, Damonza has done a fantastic job in designing the cover page of this book. It will surely remind you of the first book in the series. This recall-value is another point that work positively for the book. The eye-catching colors and illustration helps the cover page in standing out in a crowd of books. “The 2nd” letters are seen from the sniper’s scope. The protagonist is seen running towards a city. The dark background in the upper half of the cover with golden sparkles adds to the impact of the cover.

I found it really attractive.


Major Aditya Sen is almost recovered from the physical injuries from his last mission. The loss of Amy left him heart-broken and this wound doesn’t seem to be healing anytime soon. Of course, no one can see the inner wounds and most of the people in outer world don’t care much about anyone’s personal losses.

The people who are your near and dear ones, of course, feel your pain and give you a rock-solid support.

The world, however, moves on.

And, thus came the next mission for Unit 22.

Well, actually, personally Aditya was required to accompany a team going for a routine diplomatic business in a foreign country.

It seemed to be a simple task, not a mission. Mostly, he will be back in a few days, as scheduled.

A most wanted criminal will be handed over to the delegation. Aditya simply needs to make sure that he accompany the criminal and take care of his safety. His job will be over as soon as he hand him over to the authorities in India.

And, he was also asked by one of his relatives to shop for her from a famous mall in the country he is visiting.

So, everyone is assuming it to be leisure trip for him.

But, how can a simple task remain simple, when Aditya is involved?

In the mall, he found a young lady with a boy was threatened for life.

In order to save the lady and her son from the culprits, he extended his helping hand.

And, things took an ugly turn.

He saved the lady and her child for the time being, but, what about their future>

Well, they are planning to flee from the country and in a few hours they will be on their plane. Nothing to worry.

Even the criminal is handed over to him and was ready to come with him and his team.

So, things seem falling in place, once again.

But,… Well, the things are not what they appear to be.

Aditya is involved in a very hot soup without even knowing it.

What are the problems lurking at him and his team? What could have gone wrong on the foreign soil, when he is on an official visit? Who is the lady and her son? Who is the criminal he need to bring back safely? How, Unit 22 members need to be involved in this mess? How are the things with Aditya’s mother’s health?

Well, you need to read the book to get your answers.

And over the course of the story, you meet with Major Aditya Sen, Srini Iyer, Salil Murthy, Manoj Kumar Pandey, Danish Raza, Mrs. Sen, Vihaan, Rupa Aunty, Ankit Sharma, Aisha, Captain Emad Abu Sharekh, Sharekh, Rahil Shaikh, Aisha Mirza, Ali Shaikh, Nadia, Konstantin Vasilyev, Abu Omar Al-Saif, Prince Soleiman, Bharathi, and others.

Views and Reviews:

This book has an international canvas and most of the prime incidents take place on a foreign soil.

Elaborating incidents happening in a foreign country has its own challenges.

You need to do a considerable amount of research work not only to writing convincing descriptions of landscape and locations, but you also need to know about various laws and customs of the contry to add as much authenticity as much possible. It would probaby be easy to pen down the scenes taking place at a hotel or a mall; as most of the details are available online also. But, you need to be extra careful when talking about interiors of the (respective) country.

The author has done a commendable job here.

The canvas of the story is elaborated like one of the main characters of the story, and I consider it as one of the main positive points of the book.

In terms of interesting elements of the story, the author talks about – Cathisophobia. In fact, an entire chapter is dedicated to the same. And, it goes in sync with the nature of the protagonist. The author also uses words like – Facetimed – making the content more relatable. The current generation will find use of such stuff quite interesting. And, to keep the tradition of Indian authors using the word – anyways – the author has included that as well! It is so widely popular that people will consider it a part of dictionary sooner (if not already) then later.

A quality thriller doesn’t deal with only actions and physical challenges, it also elaborate human psyche quite well. And, that happens to be the case with this book as well. For example:

… people are much more complex than our simplistic notions of good or evil.

Such lines share wisdom of life without being over-melodramatic.

People’s skills are required in almost every places when you are part of any system. As you always need to deal with your superiors, sub-ordinates, colligues and others, at different level. And, you also need to learn keeping work-life lessons.

Srini was good at what he did, but when it came to political savvy, he was outmatched by many of his peers. It was bullshit but it was the way the world worked.

Often, a managerial job requires one to facilitate his survices in a lubricant-like way, so the system work in (almost) friction-les manner. When you treat your subordinates with empathy and understanding while expecting tougher jobs to be delivered in “as expected” manner, they also try to appear worthy of your trust. Here is an interesting line from the book where you can see a prime character respecting his boss.

That’s the hallmark of a boss you’d do illogical things for- someone who trusts you even when everybody else is saying the opposite.

Of course, it is rare to find such bosses and such employees, both.
The reason is, the harsh reality of the private/public/government sector. The book has captured it quite convincingly in this book. For example:

our enemies aren’t always across the border or in terror cells. We are dealing with dangerous enemies who can cut across the neat inter- departmental bifurcations we feel so comfortable with.

As the protagonist and his team members has served the Indian Armed Forces, it is obvious to find references to army, combat, operation and soldier-mindset.

…fine. Better than a gunshot. You can bear almost anything as long as you think of something that would be even more painful. That’s one of the things you learn being in the army and doing the kinds of things I’d done, in the places I’d done them, and the fine people I’d done them to.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
…soldiers don’t work on logic. If a soldier’s actions were dictated by logic, he’d get a job sitting in an office somewhere. It’s inherently illogical to risk your life over a piece of land you’ve never been to or to shoot another man who has done nothing to personally offend you, and whom you don’t know at all. So, soldiers don’t give a rat’s ass about logic and that’s the edge we have.”
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
“Boys, you heard the man. Six SSG men. Every male you see there who isn’t so fat he’ll die of a heart attack is a legit target. These boys will be trained well and motivated, so don’t try anything fancy. Shoot first, shoot fast, shoot to kill.

Indian armed forces are known to treat opponents with due respect. They follow the code-of-conduct everywhere. It is obvious to find the cases where the Indian Armed Forces had done the last rituals of the opponents when their side didn’t acklowldged them. They never mutilate bodies of prisoners-of-wars because they know:

Sure, when you were engaged in combat, you were focused on winning and defeating the enemy. That didn’t mean you hated them. They were just doing their jobs, trying to serve their flag.

Continuing exploration of this mindset, the author also mentiones (through the protagonist, of course)”

It wasn’t the poor, stupid soldiers like me I hated, it was the political masters who sent us out to die for them.

When you are a skillful, honest, brave and no–nonsense fellow, you definitely are going to gain respect from others. For example:

“Major, I’m happy to see am honest soldier in a world of crooked politicians.”

The soldiers/commandoes and other armed forces personnel had to live under the tensed situations and remain always alert. It is not wrongly said that the security personnel need to be successful every time but for shady characters, being successful, even once, is sufficient.

Now living throughout in such situations is not an easy life in any way. If you don’t develop a sense of humor, you may
probably lose your sanity! That’s why, we often see such people loving dark-humor. In this book also, you will find some satirical punches delivered in matter-of-fact-ly manner.

The nature of our work was such that we had to be ready to report for duty whenever something came up. After all, terrorists weren’t very considerate of others’ work life balance.

We are fortunate beings, blessed with selfless relations in our lives. Parents, siblings, friends, children, and other are often part of this list. They motivates us to be selfless towards others where we are at the giving end. This beautiful tapestry of relations makes the life livable and help un enjoying each moment. No matter how old you are, for your parents, you are the same kid who needs to be looked after and loved unconditionally. Mainak paints this beauty of relationships with some nice lines in this book. Here are some lines elaborating the bond between a mother and her son.

Here I was, a thirty-year-old man, who had served in the army and done and seen all sorts of things, reduced to being ten years old again, heading off on a school trip, with my mother fussing over whether I had packed properly for the trip.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
That was my Ma. She knew everything about me and loved me despite it all.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
When I had been younger, I had always thought that when I said I came from an army family, it referred to my father. Now I knew better. My mother was a soldier, too. A warrior.

Here are some lines elaorating selfless human nature. It is not always that you need a blood relationship or even friendship to care for someone. Sometimes empathy requires just a pure heart and you will have an urge to help those who are in need of it. Aditya landing a help to a strange mother-son is acknowledged by that young lady as:

know that you put yourself in danger to save a complete stranger and her son. Nobody does that nowadays. Most people would have walked away and a few idiots I know would have taken a video and put it on social media. What you did tells me all I need to know about you.’

And, as you can see it takes a sarcastic dig at those who don’t want to be part of the mess. Even the mis-use of the technology is referred to here, making the book more relatable.

While we see most of the people care more about self-publicity. Even the good work they are doing they want to get noticed for. The rise of the social media and people’s obsession to make everything public and undying desire of getting more likes; makes the situation really volatile. It is really tough to find the people who are interested in just doing, and not making it a publicity stunt. The lines like below comes as a soothing satisfaction in these circumstances.

“My friend, some men spend all their lives trying to be heroes and never succeed. Others, like you, are born to be heroes but don’t want the glory.”

Appearances are not everything. Often what you see may not be the real representation of something or someone.

Just another example of how in the world we live in, unfortunately what looks good is often not good for you.

Actually, remain unnoticeable and have ability to mix in the crowd is a kind of boon to the people who are part of special operations. It makes them hide in the plain sight. Here is one such person from the book:

He looked like an accountant, thin, slightly stooped, with a receding hairline and wearing glasses, but in the real world, the ones who tried too hard to look like heroes were usually fakes. Real heroes didn’t wear capes or have six packs, they just did what was right even when it meant swimming against the tide.

It is obvious to have tactical knowledge for special forces fellows. Having a basic knowledge of various sciences and human body is also a kind of requirement for them. As the situation they may need to face and neturalize it withing a tight frame, sometimes their own knowledge is the only luxary they have.

When you hit someone hard enough on the jaw, his head quickly accelerates around. After a fraction of a second, it quickly decelerates as muscles, tendons, and bones prevent the head from spinning any further by providing an opposite force of equal magnitude. Newton’s laws of motion and all that, you know. The poor brain inside floats in a fluid and while the head’s spinning back and forth, the brain is slamming into the sides of the skull. Neurotransmitters fire, nervous system overloads and you go unconscious.

And despite fighting merciless enemies, they are not machines. They have their feelings and even vulnerabilities.

I had fought Chechen mercenaries and Chinese commandoes, but I’d prefer to tangle with them versus handling a young, precocious child. If there was one thing I was worse at than typing reports in office, it was handling kids.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
“How can you smile at a time like this?”“So that others don’t feel as scared as I do inside.”

The book gives you some one-liners to bank upon.

…the best lies are the ones that have some connection to the truth,…

Of course, here the lies are used for serving a greater good.

If I have to quote only one block from the book, I would probably settle for the following:

How long you spent with someone was less important than how well you spent the time you had together, no matter how short. People could spend a lifetime together without passion, without respect, without love.

From the quotes metntioned so far, you must have been able to judge thee quality of the book. It is a thriller, no doubt. But, it also elaborates the basic human nature and delves deep into the mind of people of various caste, creed, finaancial and social status. It has strong characters with mixed personalities. The author has taken care of giving the characters their due regardless of their gender or any other social/economical/political role/position. It made us curious to look forward to the third book in the series..

If you like reading such books, definitely you may not want to miss it.


It is a fast paced thriller which has almost an equal share of emotions. It is a complete entertainer which gives a message of hope and developing “never say die” attitued. I liked reading it.

ThinkerViews Rating:

Around 8 out of 10

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Over To You:

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