Book Review: No Margin For Error by Tanushree Podder

Title: No Margin For ErrorBook Review No Margin For Error by Tanushree Podder

Author: Tanushree Podder

Publisher: Roli Books

Genre: Action, Adventure Fiction

First Publication: 2019

Language: English

Major Characters: Captain Neel Dutta, Major Sam Fernandes

Book Summary: No Margin For Error

On a balmy November evening, a group of terrorists unleash mindless carnage in the city of Mumbai. Pitted against them, in one of the city’s grandest hotels, are the commandos from the elite special forces. Leading them are Captain Neel Dutta and major Sam Fernandes; two of the forces’ youngest officers: friends for life, and each other confidantes. But, only one of them survives to tell their tale.

It is at this explosive moment that no margin for error truly begins. Tanushree turns the clock backwards – Whizzing past days, months, years, inviting us to enter the lives of best friends, Neel and Sam. How did they meet? and How they bonded with each other in a world away from home? How did they survive brutal training, heartbreaks, internal politics, and missions of National importance during their time together as rookies in the Indian Army? And most importantly, how did they end up in Mumbai on that fatal day?

Tanushree’s exciting follow-up to boots, Belts, berets and on the double takes an incisive look at the patriots who risk it all to stand in the line of Fire.

Book Review: No Margin For Error

No Margin For Error is an excellent read with excellent insights into the personalities and temperaments of the two great commandos from the elite Special Force. The strength of this book is that the narrative is very compelling and easy to read. This book is very well-written and enjoyable, and examines a very important, though sometimes underestimated, relationship between the two men who arguably did more sacrifices in a war against terrorism. The thing that most impresses me about these men is their unfailing loyalty to each other and seeming lack of selfish ambition; and Tanushree Podder does a great job of profiling this.

Author keeps the pace quick and interesting and anyone who enjoys reading about the Army and soldiers should enjoy this book. I particularly enjoyed reading about the more personal aspects of Captain Neel Dutta and Major Sam Fernandes’s lives; and author devotes a good amount of time not only to their friendship but also to that of their families.

The enduring friendship between Captain Neel and Major Sam is brought wonderfully to life in this book, No Margin For Error. Captain Neel knew he could rely on Major Sam in any situation, both military and personal. Major Sam knew Capt. Neel would back him all the way. Major Sam’ belief in him gave Capt. Neel confidence in himself. No doubt today it would be described as a ‘bromance’.

The beginning is little upsetting but also fairly basic, and I was saddened at reading the first paragraph of the book. I won’t say why as you need to find out it by yourself. But believe me from second chapter you won’t be able to put down the book. Author was just warming up, preparing a readership that might not have the broad outline. Soon the narrative evolved into something much more thriller and enjoyable.

Author Tanushree makes the story personal, and at the same time gives the reader little-seen information about the deadliest conflict ever experienced by us, the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

As far as the contents of this book are concerned, the 290 pages or so of this book are divided into Thirty Three chapters with a short Author’s Note, that take a chronological view of the lives of Capt. Neel and Major Sam with a special focus on their relationship in the Special Force.  Attention is paid to the high and low points of the careers of both men and how both managed the difficult tasks of strategic insight, tactical skill during a deadliest terrorist attack, managing unruly subordinates, displaying political finesse in dealing with superiors in military spheres, and engaging with the civilians.


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