Milwaukee, a cosmopolitan IT city, is under siege. A serial killer targeting immigrants is on the prowl; soon the city becomes the epicentre of the rage brewing in the world. The US media is going crazy over the killer who claimed his fourth victim the other day. Hundreds of Indian IT professionals working for multi-national companies MM and CISK are worried and angry as rumours fly thick and fast that the next target is Indians. The motive behind the bloodshed and mystery surrounding each characters is slowly revealed.
There is lots of drama and nerve-breaking action in Behind The Silicon Mask, written by Bangalore-based writer Eshwar Sundaresan, who wishes to call himself a ghostwriter and an ex-corporate nobody.
The societal implications of the great Indian phenomenon ‘Bangalored’ on the US IT industry are debatable on many accounts. When Prime Minister Manmohan opened the doors of the economy, it led to IT boom and many software professionals started immigrating to the US; thus started a series of new stories on the expats. This is not the first time Eshwar Sundaresan is dealing with the issues of IT industry.
His earlier book was Bangalored: The Expat Story.
Behind The Silicon Mask is an attempt to decode the mystery behind the murders and intricacies of human relationships. It also throws light onto the work pressure, cut-throat competition and party culture in the field and how it affects the family members.
An American engineer Nick Bluefield, who lost his job and girlfriend to Partho Sen, develops depression and animosity towards all immigrants. He fails to find even odd jobs and finds many like-minded souls due to the barging in of Indian IT engineers. His fourth victim was a Singaporean student Charlie Wang who was studying American History. Milwaukee police department detective Farley and his team are running behind the killer. Will he able to stop the killing? Are Indian engineers Partho and Varun Belthangady aware of the danger?
As the plot grows, unmasking of the killer becomes imminent. But due to sketchy detailing and lack of spine-tingling twists, the reader might go out of the game that some characters in the novel are playing with little perfection. The attempt to unravel the mystery behind the silicon city through his fictitious tale, interwoven with a cobweb of relationships of software professionals, fails to confound the readers. Despite attempting to develop horror from a seemingly unique setting, the loosely-plotted story falters at many places.
The author’s story-telling technique needs more chiselling and any comparison with other best selling crime thrillers is overrating the book. The narration may put the readers off in the middle chapters. Although the elements of suspense are sprinkled over the pages, a weak climax kills the thrill.