There are three parallel storylines running in the book. The dominant one is that of the contemporary one where Shashank Choudhary is being charged and tried for rape and attempted murder of Roohani. Shashank maintains his innocence while all the evidence is stacked up against him. How do the three storylines converge? What effect can the building of the Dham for Lord Vishnu have on this present-day case? Why is the history of Konark Temple so important to the story?
The blurb of the book had me a bit confused and intrigued at the same time. It creates an impression of a great mystery while never giving away anything of the actual story. So, I picked up this book with an open mind and zero expectations. It was the best thing that I could have done.
The author must have researched the history of Odisha and by extension, the history of Kalinga. His research reflects in the story in the way he has tied the history into the modern-day mystery. And there lies the USP of the book. Rich in information, the book makes for an interesting read even for those who are not history buffs. I cross-referenced (with Wikipedia, of course) some of the materials from the book and while the author has provided genuine information for most parts, there are places where he has taken some liberties to suit the story
The protagonists are well developed. Much of the author’s focus is on Shashank. But there were a few additional characters that I would have liked to know more about. What did not work for me was the narrative. It is difficult to narrate three parallel lines and that is where the author has faltered a bit. It is not as seamless as it could have been. The readers have to pay close attention while reading or they may lose the thread at multiple points.
In any case, the author has done a good job for a debut novel. Here’s hoping that the narrative will improve with experience in the sequels.