I think every author tries to stay at the same level of consistency with their work, if not better it. So if one book falls below their usual standard, it doesn’t necessarily mean their books are not worth picking up again. Ravi Subramanian is an author I have read a few times, but his previous novel hadn’t felt that exciting. This book, “In The Name of God”, felt right in his wheelhouse. So I was excited to pick this book to read.
The book starts by setting the scenes. The discovery of a dead body in the holy pond of the Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Trivandrum is where the story begins. The scene immediately shifts back in time a few months to Dubai, where a daring heist is carried out at a jewellery store in a mall. It’s almost a perfect crime, but one of the four robbers trips and falls, and leaves behind a part of the loot. Investigation into this evidence brings the additional director of the CBI to Trivandrum. In yet another aspect of the novel, we are taken to Mumbai, where a series of high intensity explosions kills many people. Some of the victims are part of the country’s coveted diamond trade. The heart of the story is in Trivandrum though, and there seems to be a common link between all these threads.
One of the most important aspects to any thriller, I feel, is pace. It takes some time to take off, but once the story does, it is quite engaging. But when there are many stories going on, the pace doesn’t reach a crescendo. Instead it goes up and down, peaking when the police officers are in pursuit of a clue, and dipping when there is drama. The short chapters aid to keep the pages turning as well. This was an aspect that I felt confused the reader in one of the author’s earlier novels, but because the action focuses on one location after a while, the flow was better retained in this one. The language is simple and the narration is crisp.
There are a lot of characters as well. Initially, this does cause a bit of confusion, but it is easy to remember who is who. The only character I cheered for to succeed was Kabir. The others were there, yet not there. The solutions to the murders (there’s a second one a little after the first one) are well thought out, and proved too. There’s a bit of romance, a bit of heartbreak, and a lot of politics, all of which add to the drama of the story. The epilogue ties up the threads that are open, and adds to the back stories of the characters.
I loved the cover art, simple yet focused on blood red and gold colors, the theme of the novel. I loved the research that has gone to understanding the history behind the thriller, and also the lay of the land. Yes, some things could have been better, but this seems more a bestseller than the previous book. I wish the author success with this work.
|Title: In The Name of God|
|Author(s): Ravi Subramanian||Genre: Thriller|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9780143425731||Publisher: Penguin India|
(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
20th August 2017)