February 19, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Rozabal Line' by Ashwin Sanghi

 The Rozabal line, a brilliant conspiracy thriller was formerly a self-published book by Shawn Higgins aka Ashwin Sanghi (he used the pseudonym to connect with the foreign audience). Just goes to see, how many good books don’t see the light of publication but this was just a temporary problem for the author. Seeing its success, it was introduced in India by Tata’s Westland publishers and I swear, it hasn’t disappointed anyone. The book at times might seem too factual but let’s give it to the author for creating fiction out of facts. For a moment, it takes you back to Dan Brown’s ‘Da Vinci Code’ but as the story goes on, you realize there is more in it than the Jesus gene code. The starting and ending thought of the reader ultimately crosses at the epicenter-The Rozabal tomb in Kashmir which is said to contain the body of Jesus, thus addressing the highly debatable topic of Jesus settling down in India. Since the time the novel has come out, there has been a sudden surge of visitors to Kashmir, as reported by media.

The book deals with Jesus’ union with Mary Magadalene and their relationship. The book also seems to move towards St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles who is said to have come to Kerala to preach religion. The book steps on a controversial nerve by keeping the reader engrossed with the query of whether Jesus really died on the cross or did he survive and was taken away to safety by Essene monks. And apart from this central theme, you then have a group of thirteen Jihadis training under a terror outfit bent on destructing the world. Then there is a secret organization, a dangerous society by the name of Crux Decussata Permuta which seems to be assisting the terror outfit. There is the involvement of the American government and the ISI and a dangerous assassin. Apart from this, there are some quite graphic scenes which can make you shut the book for an instant.

This is historical cum mythological fiction at its best and handles quite a few religious issues and even has past-life regression therapy as a bonus. You should give credit to the author on how he has integrated the ancient past and the modern day world while moving towards an imperceptible future. You can just stare in disbelief at the amount of research the author seems to have undertaken and to provide references to the reader, Sanghi has gone ahead and provided web links and references of his sources. The book has a lot of drama, and picks up pace at times and drops to a steady walk during the rest. Yet, it manages to keep you hooked onto your seat. The author doesn’t waste much time in vague descriptions and complex character plottings but seems to get down straight to business. Also, the easy narrative in small parts seems to give the reader space to breathe, especially when it deals with so much of an information overload. So, in that way the book might seem too factual but I think, the author has handled it well and above all, he’s maintained that the book is a work of fiction. Ah, what can I say more about this wonderful book? Difficult to read it at one go, though you’ll be tempted to (you’ll know the reason when you pick up a copy). Of course, now I'm waiting to read Mr. Sanghi's next one titled 'Chanakya's Chant' which already adores my shelf and now it is just a matter of reading it. And posting the review, of course! Other things aside, I give 'The Rozabal Line' a 4.2/5!!!

Get it from Indiaplaza.



Anonymous said...

An enjoyable read Chanakya's Chant by Ashwin Sanghi. loved the way it balances two completely different storylines. I particularly liked the one written 2300 years ago.

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