This fast-paced explosive thriller is about money laundering, mafia and crime
The book “The Hundred Million Bet” by Atul Koul Randev is a thrilling story about going against all odds and putting everything on the line to win or lose it all.
After winning a hundred million Euros in an underground poker game, Caesar is ready to retire. Calculative, ambitious, and only occasionally prone to making rash decisions, he might have overplayed his hand. The Mafia boss he beat at the game would not let him walk away without a rematch. Caesar must come back to play one last game to wager all of his fortune against the life of a sister he hasn’t spoken to in ten years.
When he chooses to take the money and run, a fight for survival will force him to face many long-buried demons. For somewhere on Caesar’s path, the ruthless Maurya waits patiently to repay a debt. Life or a hundred million Euros? One wrong move, and Caesar stands to lose both.
Read an excerpt from the book below.
Motril, Spain August, 2011 Tuesday
We believed in love – Amir, August, and I – but we did have our own ways of loving.
But wait – let me start at the beginning. Amir was my boyfriend in those days. All his friends called him ‘Boy’, a vestige of the life he had once left behind, but I never liked that name. Some years ago, he had managed to acquire a small run-down shack near the edges of Motril and had patched it up to make it habitable. The first floor had three rooms. Amir and I used one, the second was a guest room, and the third had been empty until the day Amir brought August along. We had a couch in the living room that nobody ever sat in – that privilege was reserved for the front porch from where we could see the sea in the distance. It was a quaint little place. We’d have lazy brunches, walk around the tiny city, read, sit out in the long evenings watching the sun dive past, drinking, eating, thinking, and following up with the Descartian train of thought – being.
August usually started his day early with a swim. He was the only one of us who used the massive gift of the coast of the Alboran Sea. With the sun shining over his wide shoulder blades that cut sharp silhouettes against the blue of the water, he’d walk in. There was a kindness in his golden eyes punctuated by a happy, infectious abandon. He spent his days volunteering as an English teacher and afternoons reading poetry on the porch, all of this was when he wasn’t away on some abstruse trip or another. He played poker to make money. Never too much so as to dream of a better life, just enough to exist. He was gorgeous.
Amir was another matter. There were two discernible sides to him. The loner would spend his afternoons locked up in his space, working on one thing or another, painting, drawing, sketching his own warped version of the world. At some point when he’d get tired, he’d bring his art into his words and transition into a philosopher steering the conversation around him and filling in the gaps where the thoughts of us regular humans feared venturing into. He was good looking, his wide forehead notwithstanding. I want to describe how he looked, but it is hard to isolate the man from the mind. He was gorgeous too.
What about me? I knew an astute observer like you wouldn’t miss that.
I was happy.
It wasn’t just the lifestyle; there was peace, and there was excitement. Caught between two men who loved me, I could observe how people express that passion in completely different ways. Amir quoted, where August listened. When the artist withdrew, the companion surfaced. Amir was exciting and yet unfulfilling, while August was the perfect foil, he stepped up. I’d be sitting on the porch when he’d come and sit beside me and make it all easy.
We’d sit like that, quietly clinging to each other’s bodies for hours, till Amir would materialise and August would gently pass me back to him. The evenings belonged to Amir – long kisses, urgent sex. They traded me like a crystal doll between each other, one passionate man to another. One protecting me, one hurting me, but both loving me.
Did I love both of them? I’ve thought about it. Would it be a lie to say that finding an answer to this question scared me, no? For the answer might have represented a choice. I loved Amir more than August, that much I can say. But sometimes when I sit and wonder, I must question if that would have been different had I met August first.
I find it fortunate that I met them in that order, for if I had understood love with August before Amir, I wonder if he’d have been as willing to cede control. I did love August, just not as much at the time.
But then what happened, you ask?
August left one day. Just as he’d come, he vanished. One morning, all his things were gone. All that he left behind was a note saying that he’d be in touch. He took a part of me with him. Why is it that the true magnitude of love is only understood with its loss? Why is it that happiness when left to itself shrivels and turns into something morbid, obese, searching and yearning for newer thrills, till you lose what you have?
Excerpted with permission from The Hundred Million Bet, Atul Koul Randev, Srishti Publishers. Read more about the book and buy it here.
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