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My Rating - 4 out of 5 stars

Publisher - Roli Books 
Genre - Non-Fiction/Biography
Publishing year - 2012
Language - English 
ISBN - 978-81-7436-894-2
Pages - 378

My Review - 

A book that consists of the ultimate annals of the Mumbai underworld and the working of the Indian espionage system. S. Hussain Zaidi, a former investigative reporter, brought the compiled variant of Mumbai's crime realm. In the fifties, people start coming to Mumbai from different states of India; to earn money fast, some of these migrants choose the path of robbery, and Byculla became the epicenter of their criminal activities. 

With time different gangs had been formed, and the police began losing their reputation. The author includes all the prominent gangsters like Haji Mastan, Basu Dada, Varadarajan Mudilar, Karim Lala, Abu Salem, Chhota Rajan, Tiger Menon, Arun Gawli, Maya Dolas, Bada Rajan, Dilip Buwa, Chhota Sakeel, Anees Ibrahim and the stories and rivalries of many more mobsters. 

But the prominent one is Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, son of a Mumbai police's head constable, Ibrahim Kaskar. He founded a crime syndicate in the 1970s named D-Company with his elder brother Shabir Ibrahim Kaskar. Once upon a time, a prophet told Dawood's father that his second son would be courageous, influential, and wealthy, but never imagined that this power and money would come from doing wrong deeds. Police officers and gangsters respected Ibrahim; he lived an honest and virtuous life, but Dawood's high ambitions and hunger for power led him to the mafia and his father to shame. 

According to the author, Dawood has a charismatic personality. He never forgets an abuse, and when Basu Dada insulted his father and brother, he decides to finish him once and for all. Dawood directly or indirectly avenges the killings of his family and gang members from time to time. His position and power were increasing rapidly, and so does enemies. After Samad Khan's murder, he becomes the most wanted and fled to Dubai; someone leaks the arrest information at the last moment, giving him a chance to escape. 

Dawood's informants are already in the police force; they even stage fake encounters on his order many times. The corrupted officers, gang wars, day-light killings of high-profile business people, celebrities, and the worst is killings inside the courtroom becomes the routine aspect for Mumbai's people. This book provides insights into the gangster's lives and dirty police and politicians' way of living.

After the Bombay blasts of 1993, Dawood Ibrahim was ready to surrender if the government accept some of his terms, but what they did? They deny declaring that they will not allow a fugitive don to dictate terms, but the real reason is that if Dawood was to return, then numerous shady deals will come into the light and put an end to many politicians' careers. 

If you watched movies like Shootout at Wadala, Shootout at Lokhandwala, Haseena Parker, Class of '83, and then read this book, you'll remember the circumstances and connect with the incidents easily. The book is divided into two parts, defining two eras of Dawood's life. The one in Dubai and Karachi was filled with glamorous parties and stated his connections to the Bollywood industry. He was also declared a global terrorist by the USA after linked to ISI, LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba), and Al-Qaeda. 

The most wanted don is living in our neighboring country Pakistan, and as always, their government denies, and ours agreed. It also showcases India's feeble extradition policies with foreign nations, not to mention the tedious trials and lack of intelligence that causes so many cases to go cold or ends in the slaughter of innocent peoples. 

Writing - S. Hussain Zaidi's description style is repetitive, and many chapters were incomplete. The book also has some spelling errors. But this is the kind of book I read for the first time, and besides its mistakes and the author's judgemental tone at some points, I feel like this novel provides the details that you're not going to find online, especially at one place. This book is an eye-opener, and if you're interested in reading the Mumbai mafia's history, this book will give you a good start. I definitely recommend this fast-paced story of a boy who hailed from Dongri and reached Dubai. 

Grab your copy from - Amazon IN Amazon US

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