NAME: Aryaman Khanna.
PROFILE: Ex-intelligence officer, Phoenix 5 division, Intelligence and Research Wing.
STATUS: Released from a high-security prison in Lakshadweep after serving a seven-year sentence for a botched counterterrorism operation led by Director General Amarjyot Bhushan.
KNOWN FAMILY: A mother, a son and a wife, who was attacked before she could publish an exposé about a bioweapon in her newspaper.
CURRENT LOCATION: Last seen heading to Mumbai in pursuit of his wife’s attackers and on a top-secret comeback mission.
MISSION: Foil the bioweapon strike an international terror group has been planning to carry out in Mumbai on the anniversary of 26/11.
The Phoenix tells a dystopian tale of espionage and global terror, of sleeper cells and double agents, of biological warfare and suicide attacks. But at its heart there’s a message of hope and one man’s love for his family and country.
Bilal Siddiqi is a novelist and screenwriter based in Mumbai. He is the author of The Stardust Affair, The Kiss of Life (co-written with actor Emraan Hashmi) and The Bard of Blood, a spy novel which he wrote when he was nineteen and which was adapted by Red Chillies Entertainment into a Netflix show. Siddiqi was also the creator of this show and worked on the screenplay. The Phoenix is his fourth book.