A suspicious phone call received in the Agra jail, and two articles written by a retired Brigadier in a Pakistan newspaper, stir up India’s Internal Intelligence Agency. Yashwant Narayan Godbole, the Agency’s ace sleuth, connects the dots to infer that these innocuous events point to a more sinister and diabolical plot by the ISI, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence. Based on Godbole’s hunch, the Agency jumpstarts Project Mantra – a secret operation that was lying in limbo for two years, following the mysterious disappearance of their undercover agent. The express objective this time is to neutralise the ISI’s nefarious ‘Mission BlackRock’ that could otherwise have ominous internal and international ramifications for India.
Armed with only the sketchiest details, Godbole and his team of operatives face an uphill battle to unravel the enemy’s plot. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking as fortunes swing back and forth for both parties. Long and tedious hours of surveillance, losing the quarry, picking up threads in different cities, long, hot and thrilling chases through the most unlikely of places make this a unique gambit. Clashes become inevitable, and the game turns perilous as the Agency’s operatives pit their wits against the relentless ISI team.
Will Pakistan’s military doctrine – ‘bleed India with a thousand cuts’, be able to inflict damage on the nation’s strategic interests? In this high-stake game of smoke & mirrors, who will emerge as ‘The Ace of Shadows’?