Book Review — In The Name of God

In The Name of God; Author — Ravi Subramanian

The Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram safeguards within its sacrosanct walls centuries of customs and rituals, unimaginable wealth and an unwavering calm. Until a dead body turns up in its holy pond . . . And then another. The murders threaten to shake the temple’s very foundation, and when fingers point to its sealed vaults and its custodian, Aswathi Thirunal Dharmaraja Varma, the titular king of Travancore, all hell breaks loose. Meanwhile, a high-profile heist in a jewellery store at the Wafi Mall in Dubai leads investigators to a massive smuggling racket and brings Kabir Khan, additional director of the CBI, into the heart of south India. In Mumbai, a series of high-intensity explosions kills many, threatening to dismantle the country’s most coveted diamond trade.Could these incidents be related? Racing against time, Kabir tries to unravel the puzzle, separating fact from fiction, history from religion, and put a stop to the killing spree.

My take on this book —

The author Ravi Subramanian is popular for his thrillers but this is my first novel from him. Off late, I had been reading only novels from this genre and this book had a lot of buzz from the time pre-orders have started. Also, the storyline with Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple as central theme was intriguing. Personally, I was curious to read every piece of news that was published some years back when the vaults of this temple were opened for valuation.

After the first few pages, the reader will be absorbed into the fast pace of events and it feels like we are also travelling along with the protagonist. Its not a quick or short read however does not feel tedious. Unlike a lot of contemporary novels from Indian authors especially those termed as suspense thrillers, this stands out for the wonderful storyline, the way different parallel threads are interwoven and never does the author goes overboard describing the locales.

All the sequences are derived from real incidents but given a fictional touch making them feel real as well as avoiding any controversy attached to such events. The locations are also mostly real taking you on a virtual tour along with the characters. Also, the best part being the characters are from different parts of the country but the writer does not bring in local slang or such details which most often hamper the narration. There is no unnecessary drama and romance as the book stays true to its story, genre and narrative.

The suspense is retained till the climax and though there are hints dropped, as with any thriller, most characters look like a suspect till the mystery is resolved. I personally felt the last few pages are a bit rushed as all the loose ends are tied together, the truth is revealed along with the motives but there is too much of info thrown suddenly at the reader. Probably a second read will make it feel better.

While I wish for a better climax, I thoroughly enjoyed the entire book and could not put it down till the end. Highly recommended for a lazy afternoon read.

My rating is a 4.5/5.