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Title: In The Name Of God
Author: Ravi Subramanian
Genre: Fiction, Crime, Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Random House India
A new release, In The Name of God by Ravi Subramanian, had my attention when the Anantha Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvanathapuram was mentioned in the blurb. Being my husband's hometown, I visit the city and the temple every year and have been updated about the "treasure" and "vaults" since the very beginning. But when you mix culture with a fictitious murder story, my curiosity just piqued and I ordered the book immediately. Couldn't resist!
The book begins with a jewelry heist in one of the prominent malls in Dubai. The perpetrators escape but leave behind a clue, leading the investigation to India. While in Delhi, the investigation is being followed, down south in Thiruvanathapuram, the wealth in the vaults inside the Anantha Padmanabhaswamy temple is ordered to be audited by the Supreme Court and a team of 12 experts arrive for the purpose. But as soon as they begin their work, a body is found in the Padma Teertham kulam, the temple pond, and the current Travancore king blames it as a result of blasphemy in the form of the ongoing audit. Kabir Khan, additional director of the CBI, is following the Dubai heist case but when he finds himself in Thiruvanathapuram, he cannot but help think if these two incidents are related. When another murder takes place, the audit team along with Kabir, begin to wonder if these episodes are indeed a result of the wrath of God.
Oh boy! What a read! I have so many things to say about the book but I don't know where to begin. Let's start from the beginning then. The flow of the story is what seals the deal for this book. Right from the start with the Dubai heist, all the way to Thiruvanathapuram, it is a continuous flow of suspense and intrigue. The narrative must be mentioned, it is superbly engrossing. I am no writer but as a reader I can definitely say that in a mystery/suspense book, the detailing behind the characters is crucial. It shouldn't be overwhelmingly long, lest it takes the inquisitiveness from the plot. But it also shouldn't be deficient of it. The author, here, has done a fantastic job of maintaining that balance with enough details. The characters are well rounded and the story maintains the intensity, which I loved.
As mentioned earlier, I am very familiar with Thiruvanathapuram, and the temple. And I must applaud the efforts taken by the author to make sure that all the facts were as close to reality as one could possibly get. Every description of the temple and the city of Thiruvanathapuram has been described accurately which is a huge relief. It can be really off putting when something close to your heart is just taken for granted for the sake of a story. Thankfully, this book left me beaming with pride!
I have read only two other books by Ravi Subramanian, The Bankster and The Bestseller She Wrote , so I cannot give a clear verdict but according to my opinion, In The Name of God is his best work so far. His last book was of a totally different genre but this one is a pleasant surprise! I cannot recommend it more!
A must read for thriller/suspense fans!