If I had to describe the novel in one word it would be this: Enthralling! This is the first novel by the author, Ashwin Sanghi, that I have read and it makes me want to read the rest of his works. The narration, the immaculate research and details when combined with a thriller of a plot make it a an exciting read.
The story revolves around Dr. Saini, a professor of History, who also happens to be a descendent of the Yadava clan of Krishna. After being labelled the prime suspect in the murder of his friend Dr. Varshaney, an Archaeologist based in Kalibangan, Dr. Saini is out to prove that he is innocent and that there is a bigger conspiracy in which he is merely being set up. His journey to prove his innocence sets him on the quest of the Krishna Key- Krishna's best kept secret. The different signs and symbols, the history and myths of our land, esoteric puzzles, connecting all the dots finally lead him to decipher the truth about the secret.
The plot gets us hooked onto the book from the very beginning to the very end. It's extremely imaginative and a well researched book that has the ability to make readers almost believe this piece of fiction to be true. There were similarities to Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code but that doesn't take away the originality or the thrill of the story one bit. There are enough twists and quite a few jaw-dropping scenes that keep it from becoming predictable and the story as the plot slowly unravels it has a different flow and nature from The Da Vinci Code. The amount of research that has gone into writing this story with such incredible detail is stupendous.
As with any adventure centric plot, the focus throughout the book was on the thrill factor rather than character development . The main historic personality of the book is Krishna, a charismatic mythological character who played a major role in the epic saga- the Mahabharata. For those without even a passing knowledge of this saga, the snippets about Krishna in the beginning of the chapters help. It has been simplified by the author for readers who are unaware of Krishna and his role in the Mahabharata.
This book can boast of a dynamic narration, never going off track and keeping the reader engaged in the story from the word go. It is taut and smooth that makes the book such a delight to read.
A thriller that ends on a philosophical note; the end was a bit of an anti-climax. Also there were a few places where shoddy editing and proof-reading crept up but can be ignored if you are as much engrossed in the story as I was.
A mesmerizing read, this book had presented me with the strange aspects of our history and I found myself doing a Google search on most of the myths, some backed up with facts. The links given at the end of the book are very comprehensive and show the amount of research that has been done. Urban legends, age old myths, scientific facts all blended into a masterpiece that is The Krishna Key. Loved it!