“Journey in search of the elusive Snow Leopard with an enthralling tale set in one of India’s most splendid destinations.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
Snow Leopard is in a sense a follow up to Ladakh Adventure – Vikram and Aditya are trekking with Dr Raghu who specialises in snow leopard quests and with them they have Tsering whom the two boys will be safe when hidden in the Rumbek Valley, not to mention the other trekkers. Of course Akira Singh, the half Indian half Japanese smuggler from Ladakh is on the prowl and things are not easy. The book is mainly Vikram’s diary and his account of the trek into the hills, encounters with dangerous cliff edge paths, beautiful girls with pouts who have to be rescued and the elusive snow leopard who can only be glimpsed it seems, through tracks and its scat. The author researched the terrain before writing the book which accounts for its authenticity. For the most part the daring Aditya is absent and Caroline fills in for him with her own issues of being part Indian, part America and self discovery after her father’s death – issues that will appeal to youngsters hesitating at the threshold of adulthood.
Environmental conflicts, poachers and men with guns lend their balance to this book with lots of spills over cliffs and helpful Ladakhi villagers at hand all set against the magnificent backdrop of the Himalayas and the chance of sighting the ghost of the snows, the mythical snow leopard against a star spangled night sky. What is important is the issue Dalal raises – the fact that poachers exist because there is a demand for shatoosh shawls and tiger bones and leopard pelts if there wasn’t a greed there wouldn’t be a need to destroy.
Added 8th April 2021