Tuesday, June 22

Movie Rights for Indian American Surgeon’s Book Acquired by Lonetree Entertainment, Tony Eldridge Attached as Producer | Global Indian

Bursting onto the publishing scene in January 2021 is Indian American debut novelist, renowned surgeon, and humanitarian Munish K. Batra, who, along with acclaimed author Keith R.A. DeCandido, will thrill readers with the new psychological thriller, “Animal.”

Perfect for both animal rights activists and fans of “Dexter,” “Animal,” stated a press release, is “a thought-provoking, pulse-pounding novel that will engross and enthrall.”

And even before its launch, the book has been optioned for film by Lonetree Entertainment, with Tony Eldridge attached as a producer.

Eldridge, known for his work on “The Equalizer” movies with Denzel Washington and “The Naked Truth,” is also developing the script.

Batra was galvanized into action by the animal abuse atrocities he witnessed when he was traveling the world volunteering his medical services. He also told India-West that the novel stemmed from a confluence of experiences, including his young son’s choice not to eat meat at an early age.

Together, Batra and DeCandido wanted to write a novel that would make people wonder: “is murder ever justifiable when protecting the innocent?”

In the book, two grisly murders are committed at a meatpacking plant by a person wearing a cow mask not long after the CEO of a water park is brutally killed by someone wearing an orca mask. Interpol agent An Chang believes these are the latest acts of a ruthless serial killer he has been chasing for more than 20 years, a killer who targets those who harm innocent animals.  

From elephant poachers in Chad, Africa, Russian big-game hunters of endangered species, dog fighters in Atlanta, Georgia, to European food executives who gorge ducks to make paté, gorilla hunters in the Congo, and ivory merchants in China, those who torture animals are not safe.

Working with two California detectives, Chang races to unmask the killer, even as the killer’s spree becomes more deadly. But the killer’s motives and history are far deeper and more complex than anyone realizes, and the truth of his rampage leads Chang on a wild chase from the streets of Shanghai around the globe.

Batra drew on his experience as a plastic surgeon to make certain scenes in “Animal” more realistic. Every occurrence of animal cruelty dramatized in the book is based on documented real-world events. This includes the use of gorilla hands as ash trays, capturing of dogs as food in Asia, training methods of orcas in North America, and more, added the press release.

Batra is currently collaborating with DeCandido on other fiction projects and is also working on a nonfiction book called “Medical Madness.”

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