Amar Bhushan’s Escape To Nowhere is an espionage novel inspired by real events, and presents a thrilling insider account of India’s Intelligence agencies like RAW and IB, through the story of a top officer suspected of being a spy.
Summary Of The Book
Escape To Nowhere is loosely based on a true incident, which was in the news in 2004, surrounding the disappearance of a high ranked intelligence officer, after being suspected of espionage against the country.
Written from an insider’s perspective, with the author having been a former head of the counter espionage department of RAW, the book reveals the inner workings of our nation’s intelligence agencies, giving the readers rare insights on their operations and functioning in the event of such an incident taking place, being perceived as a potential threat to the national security of the country.
Escape To Nowhere narrates a hard hitting account of the events that take place when a whistleblower expresses his concerns over a fellow senior officer’s suspected involvement in espionage. From the moment he confides his suspicions to the agency’s Head of security division, Jeevnathan, a departmental inquiry is propelled into action, with the suspected Officer, Ravi being brought under the tight scanner of an elaborately planned covert internal surveillance strategy.
As the investigation probes deeper, irrefutable evidence against the suspect comes to light, pointing to his being found guilty of stealing highly classified data. For the Agency, this throws open a sea of hard debates and decisions regarding handling of the situation. As they ponder over getting him to confess through the use of physical force, or letting him walk away free, the Chief of the agency is pressured for an appropriate response, and for Jeevnathan, it is a challenge to maintain peace in the department, and keep the watchers from getting off course.
The book, written like a diary, covers the entire operation, leading up to the defection of the suspected double agent. It bravely uncovers the challenges faced, and the frustrations of running an intelligence team despite lack of support and direction from the higher ups in the system. It exposes certain harsh truths including rampant red tapism, constant clash of interests between the bureaucrats or the ‘babus’ and the field operatives, failing to liaison with each other, a casual approach to national security, and difficulties in coordinating information from different branches of intelligence, as well as the situation in Kashmir.
About Amar Bhushan
Amar Bhushan is the former head of the Counter Espionage Department of RAW (Indian Research & Analysis Wing).
He has enjoyed a long and eventful career spanning close to forty years, engaging in various streams of investigation, intelligence, and policing, and retiring in 2005, from the Cabinet Secretariat after serving as Special Secretary. Known for being passionate for lost causes, disliking stereotypes, and being bold, experimental, and dissentful in his approach, he was regarded as somewhat of an outsider in the department. He is settled in Jasidih, a quiet village in Jharkhand, India.
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