Don’s wife is a powerful story of romance, crime, honour, retribution and revenge. This saga of crime begins with the murder of Kamini, who is the Don’s wife. We see so many different facets of this character in the first few pages; she is a loving mother, yet she clandestinely meets her lover at a hotel, she is a political personality with ambitions of her own but she is untouched by the corruption and crime that goes around her.
So how did she end up being married to an underground crime lord, Harsh? The author takes us back in past where Kamini is shown as the middle class daughter of a professor and a doctor. Harsh saves her life, when she goes swimming in the sea and they fall in love. Harsh’s father is a much feared yet respected Don. Predictably Harsh wants to stay away from his father’s world. (A stereotype that all crime stories and movies follow diligently!)
Kamini is entranced by her prospective father-in-law’s character and goodliness. She breaks up with her parents and gets married to Harsh. Life takes a sudden turn when Harsh’s father dies and Harsh has to virtually step into his shoes when Kamini insists on revenge.
Harsh is a very complex character. An abused child, he becomes a dangerous man when armed and seeks to avenge all those who wronged him. Pregnant with her first child, Kamini watches in dismay as he transforms into a ruthless criminal almost overnight.
Exiled and hunted, Harsh is whisked away to different countries as he tries to escape the Interpol while Kamini is left to bring up her daughter alone. Away from his wife and daughter, Harsh develops many complex multiple personalities that prove dangerous to him and his family.
Lonely and miserable, Kamini is left to answer the press, police, her parents and her daughter and it’s little wonder that she seeks refuge in drinks, smoke and finally surrenders herself body and soul to her faithful bodyguard, Jayant. Does Harsh come to know about her affair? Who is responsible for her murder?
The book gives a very vivid glimpse into the life of those who are infamous and the repercussions of crime on one’s family. Kamini stands out as a very powerful character who tries to forge her own identity rather than hide behind her walls as the Don’s wife. Harsh too stands out as the most complex character who orders the death of his long-suffering wife and yet undergoes severe penance to wash his sins.
One of the main problems that I had with this book was the length. I felt that the book could have been trimmed to 300 pages at the most. The prose is powerful in parts but there are too many long winded sentences, adjectives and oft repeated passages that could have been edited. The love/sex scenes were very jarring to read especially.
Plus Points: A very powerful love story
Minus Points: Language and style of writing needs a lot of trimming and refining.
Verdict : One time read