P.R. Ganapathy’s The Sympathy Wave is a political thriller that seeks to mirror reality

An upcoming election, the assassination of a Prime Ministerial candidate and the revelation of the killer marks the plot of The Sympathy Wave by P.R. Ganapathy. It was launched by Westland in the city recently. A political thriller, the book is the second in a series.

The book begins with the 2014 general elections. “It imagines a situation where the Prime Ministerial candidate’s brother-in-law tries to get him killed to get a sympathy wave for the party,” says Ganapathy. “What happens is very different from how he imagines. A helicopter with both of them disappears and the wreckage is found much later. So the candidate’s sister comes to power with majority, and makes dramatic changes. She improves the economy of the country, but slowly she begins to change. While she is partly the protagonist, there is also the power behind the Prime Minister’s throne. In the book, The Sympathy Wave I talk about how we can be manipulated easily by people. One of the main characters starts out pretty innocent and becomes cold and calculating towards the end.”

In The Sympathy Wave, investigators from his debut novel The Anza Deception — Anwar Islam, Colonel Vijay Gupta and Vishal Karandikar — make a comeback. “The two ex-Army officials and a police officer unravel the secrets to this mystery. This is not a sequel, but I have repeated the characters and hope to evolve them by setting them in different situations in different books,” says the author.

“I’m toying with the idea of writing a story set in the Maoist areas or the media business. I’m also looking at exploring vigilante justice. They will be thrillers but will have a deeper message. I want people who read my books to think about what I’m portraying through itThe Sympathy Wave,” he adds.

Many possibilities

The author says that while his books are fiction, they are set in situations that are possibile. “Many of the people who wrote to me after reading my first book told me they enjoyed it because it was something they could relate to and it was so close to home,” he explains. “I enjoy writing this genre because here I create a world and I get to see how it works out, how the characters grow in the end. I start with an outline, but soon, the character takes charge in ways I don’t anticipate.”

The Sympathy Wave is available at bookstores for Rs. 295.