Title: The Krishna Key
Author: Ashwin Sanghi
Ravi Mohan Saini: An intelligent and well informed professor of history teaching at St. Stephens college, Delhi.
Priya: Saini's doctoral student.
Radhika Singh: A tough police officer, a woman who can give many men a run for their money when it comes to solving criminal cases.
Sunil Garg: Director of CBI
Taarak Vakil: An innocent rich boy victimized to kill.
Sanjay Ratnani: Priya's father and India's top criminal lawyer
Sir Khan: The don in the den.
The book begins with a mysterious murder and a History professor being framed. The murderer kills in the name of God and to be able to stop him and not let himself be wiped out, the professor along with his doctoral student set out on exposing the ancient secret of the human avatar of Krishna which is the key to unearthing the mystery behind the murders. I liked the way in which he has drawn parallels to the mythological characters and crafted a plot that is not rushing, yet very engrossing. One can say, the book is the Indian take on the Da Vinci Code, again with Hinduism playing its role to not hurt the Indian sentiments. It is less furious than the Da Vinci Code in its flow and the twists and turns in the story keep you hooked to the hatch.
What I particularly liked was the way in which excerpts from the Mahabharata kept appearing to tell of a tale that was a fable for me till now. So also, it tells us of many strange secrets from the Indian history with realistic roles of civilizations and kings, that the history books did not delegate in detail.
The book also gives a discourse on what is good and what is bad and the importance of making the right choices in life. The comparisons between the characters and the mythological personalities make the story all the more a catch. And without any advisory authority tells us of how the wicked ways only lead to destruction and nothing else.
The book is a peerless pick for people who are interested in spine chilling thrillers or those who have an eye for history and mythology. Infact anyone who doesn't know the story of Mahabharata can pick it up for a peek.
A few of the flaws in the book I particularly like to point are these.
1) The usage of the word "barked" is sometimes irrelevant in telling us of the characters and what they wanted to say.
2) The author talks of a Smith and Wesson! What is Smith and Wesson for the average Indian reader? No clarifications on that.
3) On Page 245, the usage of "Dot on time for her" doesn't make sense.
4) On page 253, the usage of an extra "out" in the line fitted out with the latest audio and video equipment did not make sense.
5) On page 284, the Don smiled a smile of satisfaction. Is smiling a smile of satisfaction the correct usage?6) On page 301, Radhika was wrongfully referred to as Priya in the last paragraph on the page.
Then there were many other places where a "would" was replaced by a "will" and present perfect became the past tense in a blink of an eye. These tiny trivialities could have been done away with, to give the readers a better piece of literature.
The book scores 3/5 points on the exhaustive exploration done to provide a whooper of a plot, and 2 points go away for the grammar errors and spelling mistakes and the giving away on the identity of the character Radhika on page 301.