Fatema Imani in Dawn:
The main story line of the novel [by Saad Shafqat–shown in photo on the right] is based in Pakistan’s hub Karachi, but a generous portion is also set in America. An anonymous and unknown medical illness claims several lives in Karachi. The ill-fated victims more or less find themselves in a fictional ‘Avicenna University Hospital’, where Asad Mirza, a neurosurgeon freshly returned from medical residency in America, and his protégée Nadia Khan are trying to figure out the complex disease.
Alongside the duo’s quest to crack the riddle runs a sub-plot hatched by a terrorist network, aimed at the United States of America. How do these two plots come together? You certainly don’t want me to tell you, so read the novel to find out…
[Fatema Imani]: How did you get started with writing Breath of Death?
[Saad Shafqat]: The idea of penning down a novel came to me because I have always liked writing. I have been doing cricket writing for a while and have also written social pieces for some publications. I enjoy telling stories to friends and family members and seeing their interest gave birth to the idea of writing a book.
I started looking for a genre and it seemed befitting to write a medical novel, considering I am a physician seeing patients all the time in a hospital and clinic where there is a great deal of human drama. Illnesses and deaths are rampant, which is very tragic, but there is happiness too and a lot of intensity in taking care of sick patients. I conjoined these elements with social pressure, terrorism and extremist thinking and out came the novel.