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Book Review: The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi

September 27, 2012
Five thousand years ago, there came to earth a magical being called Krishna, who brought about innumerable miracles for the good of mankind. Humanity despaired of its fate if the Blue God were to die but was reassured that he would return in a fresh avatar when needed in the eventual Dark Age—the Kaliyug. In modern times, a poor little rich boy grows up believing that he is that final avatar. Only, he is a serial killer.
In this heart-stopping tale, the arrival of a murderer who executes his gruesome and brilliantly thought-out schemes in the name of God is the first clue to a sinister conspiracy to expose an ancient secret—Krishna’s priceless legacy to mankind.
Historian Ravi Mohan Saini must breathlessly dash from the submerged remains of Dwarka and the mysterious lingam of Somnath to the icy heights of Mount Kailash, in a quest to discover the cryptic location of Krishna’s most prized possession. From the sand-washed ruins of Kalibangan to a Vrindavan temple destroyed by Aurangzeb, Saini must also delve into antiquity to prevent a gross miscarriage of justice.
Ever since I heard of this book, I have been looking forward to read and review it for two reasons – 1. I really enjoyed Ashwin Sanghi’s last two books. 2. Krishna is my favourite character from Mahabharata and I blogged about his role in the war of Kurukshetra as part of a blogging contest. This post won me the category, became my most-read post and received more than 100 comments, majority of which are hate comments abusing my allegedly anti-god viewpoint!

The Krishna Key turned out to be a very well-researched and conspiracy-theory laden racy thriller. It delves into the rich treasure trove of Indian history and mythology to create the plot. Facts get expertly mixed with the author’s imagination and seamlessly weave the story.

From the mysterious Saraswati river to early Vedic civilisation, from ancient symbols to theories on nuclear radiation, the author touches upon a variety of topics; from the desert of Kalibangan to the historical city of Dwarka, from the snow of Mount Kailash to the moon-lit Taj Mahal, the author makes his protagonists travel the length and breadth of the country – all in search of answers to different questions. Due to the size of the novel, sometimes, it became difficult to understand the moot issue. The author raised too many questions and tried to provide answers to all of them  – why was the murders being committed? What was the mystery behind the seals? Was Krishna a mythical character? Did Indus Valley civilisation actually flourish on the banks of the river Saraswati? Did ancient India have knowledge of nuclear radiation? What is the connection between Shiv and Vishnu?

Somewhere, while searching for all these answers and many more, the plot lengthens. In every chapter, new revelations are thrown at the reader. Everyone, from scientists to linguists to history professors to mafia dons seem expert on a wide variety of subjects! At places, it became a bit too preachy and the author could have done better to keep the source of all information as one.

The characters could have been better sketched, since till the end, I was a little confused about Priya’s psyche. Was she a victim or a survivor? What was her exact motive behind accepting the mafia’s assignment? I was left wondering the possible answers to these questions.

Even though critics said so, but Rozabal Line did not remind me of Dan Brown at all. But this story did. It has traces of Da Vinci Code in the form of a falsely accused professor on the run, Angels and Demons in the way the murders take place, and The Lost Symbol in the climax scenes!

Poor editing was something I simply could not pardon! Priya’s name was used many times instead of Radhika and every time it killed the plot a little bit.

However, I must say that I enjoyed the ride, which was, at times bumpy with a bit of potholes here and there but wish I was not hurtled so fast towards the end! Ashwin Sanghi – I agree with you when you say “The philisopher is more important than the stone”! After all, your best is yet to come.

My rating: 7.5/10

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

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