The Mahabharat Secret written by Christopher C. Doyle. I had some reservations reading about the same concept in this book. Luckily, all my doubts were put to rest after reading this book.
Plot: The story starts with the murder of one of the Nine Unknown Men who has been given the responsibility of hiding one of the nine books (written during the times of Emperor Ashoka) from the people with vested interests, blinded by power. Each of the nine books is based on particular subjects (order of books unknown), i.e. Microbiology, Physiology, Propaganda & Psychology, Alchemy, Light, Gravitation, Communication, Cosmology and Sociology. The psycho-killer leaves behind clues and puzzles for which The Head of The Group, Mrityunjai Pradhan hires a Deputy Director of I.B., Shoumik Haldar and a celebrated author of mythology Ishan Vajpayee. The book delves into two major religions that exist since the Maurya era, i.e. Buddhism and sub-sects of Hinduism (Shaivas and Vaishnavas). The plot takes across many religious places in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka that hold mythological significance related to Gautam Buddha, Shiva and Vishnu.
The riddles get cleverer with every murder committed like the way of murder being committed, the order in which The Keepers get killed, the rituals attached to their murders, the tattoos on their dead bodies, the place, the timing. Every minute detailing of the plans are executed to perfection. Well, almost. As for the mystery behind the killings, the identity of the puppeteer (mastermind) gets revealed in the climax.
My Take: The concept of Nine Unknown Men reminds me of The Illuminati and Opus Dei to a certain extent. Science and Religion are the two major factors upon which this book relies heavily. One comes across many similarities with the plot of Finders, Keepers and Dan Brown novels. At times, the reader may feel the story going off the track but that too has been handled smartly by the author. Also the repetition of the phrase ‘train of thoughts’ bugs you at times. Honestly, I was sceptical to read this book (given my experience of reading The Mahabharat Secret). Thankfully, my doubts were put to rest. The book promises to be a treat for readers interested in Mythology, Thrillers and Mystery. The book has the potential to be made into a mini-series on television. In short, reading this book is exhaustive but a wonderful experience.
Peace, Poetry and Power.