New Delhi, 5 April 2021: Penguin Random House India is proud to announce the acquisition and publication of a two-book series on counterterrorism by debut author and former Intelligence Bureau officer Prabhakar Aloka. The books are inspired by real events and have already been optioned for an OTT series. They will be published under the Ebury Press imprint, with the first book in the series releasing in October 2021.
Operation Haygreeva, the first book in this duology, is a gripping espionage thriller that pivots around C3—Central Counterterrorism Command—a secret unit of India’s foremost national security agency. At its discreet headquarters in New Delhi, intelligence officers work hard behind the scenes to thwart threats, keep track of targets and make sure the country is safe. When Mumbai becomes the victim of a series of horrific bomb blasts, Ravi Kumar, the chief of C3 known for his unorthodox but brilliant methods, is entrusted with the responsibility to neutralize the threat posed by a new terrorist organization called Lashkar-e-Hind. What follows is a nail-biting rollercoaster of intrigue, betrayal and danger as a covert group of operatives races against time to protect the citizens of India. The twists and turns continue to pile up in the sequel, with the net tightening around Ravi and his team as they pursue their sinister enemy, navigating the murky corridors of espionage and intelligence services.
Commenting on the upcoming books, debut author Prabhakar Aloka says, ‘I am privileged to have Penguin Random House India as the publisher of my maiden venture. Espionage remains an enigma for most people, whether they choose to romanticize its daily operations or trivialize its importance. My novels attempt to unravel the inner workings of the craft for readers everywhere through a story of the triumphs and tribulations encountered by undercover operatives who develop a spiritual addiction to their covert identities.’
Milee Ashwarya, publisher, Ebury Publishing and Vintage, Penguin Random House India, says, ‘At Penguin Random House India, it is our constant endeavour to publish new voices and riveting stories for our readers. In Operation Haygreeva by Prabhakar Aloka we have found an enduring thriller with an intriguing plot and memorable characters that attempt to help us unravel the world of espionage. I am delighted to welcome Prabhakar to the Penguin Random House family, and I look forward to publishing the book.’
Hemali Sodhi, from A Suitable Agency, says, ‘It is not often that one comes across a debut that is so riveting, assured and accomplished—this is a book that you simply cannot put down without racing to the end! This book is A Suitable Agency’s first major thriller, also to be an OTT series, which we are confident will be as exhilarating as the book. We’re delighted that the book has found a home at Penguin Random House India, home to so many diverse and brilliant debut voices, and we cannot wait for this book to be published and find many more readers.’
Prabhakar Aloka has formerly worked with the Intelligence Bureau, the country’s premier intelligence agency with over 125 years of history. In nearly three decades of service in the Bureau, where he was rigorously trained in covert operations while in pursuit of hostile elements, Aloka served in counterterror, counterinsurgency and anti-Naxalite theatres. He now lives in Gurgaon and draws from his extensive experience when writing fiction.