They say that Mukul Deva is the Indian version of Tom Clancy. I don't agree with that. If anything, he definitely ahead of Tom Clancy. Maybe it is the reference to Colonel Anbu, Iqbal, Sarojini Nagar market, Hondas and Tata Safaris that brings us to a different level where we can connect with the book like never before. You have to agree that Indianizing has been a big factor in the popularity of his books.
When I took up Lashkar, I was expecting to flip a few pages and drop it away as rubbish. I am not exactly a fan of Indian fiction, I have seen quite some disastrous potpourris of Indian fiction and sci-fi to keep me away from them. As I read on, there was a certain class in Lashkar and never once did the terrorists' plot or execution seem too far fetched. I really admire the detail with which the author has described different geographies among other things. I have actually seen the places of
Mukul Deva's Force 22 seems fairly more realistic and for some reason more majestic than Tom Clancy's Op-Center. Off-hand humor by the Force-22 officers is great and the action keeps you glued to the book. In both the books, especially Salim Must Die- the terrorists' plan covers most of the book. Surprisingly, I enjoyed this part as much as Force 22's operation in the later part.
Which is better amongst Lashkar & Salim Must Die?? A difficult question.. Personally, I loved the D operation in Lashkar and was just left aghast by the terrorist strikes in Salim Must Die.
However, it can be said that Lashkar was a more complete story. Salim Must Die builds up a grand plan which makes your hair stand up; but the counter attack loses steam in the end.