Detailed one: I happened to visit the book launch organized by Bangalore International Center. Honestly, I was completely bowled over by the author Manreet Sodhi Someshwar. What a strong hold on the subject coupled with absolute clear diction and a calm composure. Honestly, I never bought a book during the book release in the past, but this time I had to buy it was so compelling.
So coming to the blurb (portion):
Mughal scholar Mehrunisa Khosa stumbles upon a conspiracy to destroy the Taj Mahal when she discovers the murder of the Taj supervisor, and the Quranic calligraphy on the tomb of Queen Mumtaz altered to suggest a Hindu origin of the Taj Mahal…That urban legend had always existed. Now, though, someone was conspiring to make it come true. (…more directly from her in the video below)
Never before in an Indian Fiction, I’ve read a book so well research and around the monument that defines our country. Manreet has done a lot of research on the Taj Mahal and probably might have read all the books available on it.
This is one of the best written books in the Indian Literature.
Title, cover and blurb: The title, The Taj Conspriacy, perfect for the book. Cover a little gloomy, it could have been better. Blurb could have been a little simplified and the last paragraph looks little overdone.
Plot: Murder mystery leading to the bigger conspiracy around Taj – Bang On. You won’t find a better plot than this. Delivered to its promise. Just too good.
Setting: Agra, Delhi, Kashmir, Jaipur. Beautifully description that makes the scenes come alive.
Characterization: Mehrunisa Khosa was carved beautifully. Her appearance, intentions and strong mind does excellent justice to the character. The two cops SSP Raghav and RP Singh – well I would say, at time got confused between the two – may be because they have similar initials. There are half-a-dozen other characters that are perfectly placed in the story.
Story (and it’s structure): 10/10 – Starts with the murder (like The Da-vinci code) with a cryptic clue by the victim. The high stakes, that someone’s behind Taj to destroy or alter it, cannot get any grandeur than this. A fast paced story, set in multiple cities with beautiful twists and turns along the way it will keep you glued. Every bit of the story is just so damn good. This is one story in which I have not found any error from the technical point of view. Every bit is just perfect.
Writing style/language/misc: Awesome writing style. At times, the author did use the heavy words that slows down the pace. Towards the end, I couldn’t visualize what’s happening within the different rooms and the garden of Taj Mahal. (tip to the author: Show don’t tell). But that’s ok, these things can be ignored in the Majestic book.
Out an out, a face paced thriller that will also educate you about the Taj Mahal and leave you to read more…
Go buy it.
Manreet Ma’m, you’re hardworking, skillful and gifted. Eagerly waiting for your next one.