Reading a hurricane

A thrilling novel that keeps you at the edge of your seat. SIDDHARTH SRIKANTH

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Title:The Rozabal Line

Writer: Ashwin Sanghi

Publication:Westland

Price: . 250

 The most important lines of “The Rozabal Line” by fiction debutante Ashwin Sanghi are perhaps in its opening pages- the part of the Author’s Note that reads: “Religion, history and factual narration have been liberally interspersed with the fictional, in order to give context and colour to the plot”. That being the case, one can safely say that the “colour” of this plot is as vivid as the azure blue on a summer morn.

Unveiling the plot

The plot revolves around an American priest Father Vincent Sinclair, whose obstinacy to carry out the last promise to a dead friend lands him in a web of international conspiracy of religious and political implications. Among the motley of characters this book throws up are Vincent’s aunt-cum-guardian angel Martha and Swakilki, a lethal assassin of stunning beauty. Throw into the mix the clandestine Illuminati, the super-secret Crux Decussata Permuta, who will risk Armageddon in order to prevent a secret of overwhelming magnitude from being exposed, and an elite thirteen member terrorist force under the Lashkar-e-Toiba called the Lashkar-e-Talatashar, and the end result is a book that will have you biting your nails ever so often while simultaneously mumbling to yourself about the implausibility of the plot.

The book deals in greater depth with the issue of Christ’s union with Mary Magdalene touched upon by The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown as well as incorporating postulates of several other books including Jesus Lived in India: Life Before and After the Crucifixion by Holger Kernsten and Jesus Died In Kashmir: Jesus, Moses and The Ten Lost Tribes Of Israel by Andreas Kaiser.Sensational as the book is, it is also severely flawed. The sheer number of characters introduced inhibits the author from actually building storylines of the more intriguing characters like Swakilki and the Illuminati leader while historical references and parallels have taken a large chunk of the book, adding an impersonal feel to it.The book is worth a read, if just for its “oh-my-god!” factor.

Siddharth is a 1st year student of Media Studies, Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communications, Pune.

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