Tuesday, April 15, 2014

#BookReview : The Avatari by Raghu Srinivasan

On the jacket:

A Mythical Kingdom: Legend has it that only those chosen by destiny can gain entry into Shambhala, the mythical kingdom believed to hold the ancient wisdom that humanity will need to resurrect itself from the inevitable apocalypse. They are the Avatari.  An Ancient Artefact: When Henry Ashton, a retired British Army officer settled in the Yorkshire dales, receives a letter from a monk entreating him to prevent a hidden treasure stolen from a Laotian monastery from being misused, he finds himself honour-bound to respond. Assisted by a retired Gurkha Sergeant, a high-strung mathematician from Oxford with a Shambhala fixation of her own and an American mercenary on the CIAs hit list, Ashtons mission leads to an ancient map that dates back to the time of the great Mongol, Kublai Khan.  A Secret that Must Not be Revealed: The group follows the trail, risking the perils of the inhospitable deserts of Ladakh, turmoil in Pakistan and the rugged mountains of Northern Afghanistan, where the Afghan War is at its height. But they are up against a deadly adversary with seemingly unlimited resources, who will stop at nothing to get possession of the anicent secret a secret that, if revealed, could threaten the very fabric of human civilization.


Of late, I have read some brilliant thrillers by Indian authors. Having grown up with a healthy appetite for thrillers, finding authors closer home has a different kind of thrill. Raghu Srinivasan’s The Avatari didn't disappoint.

A strong story line, knit into a well formed plot and clear cut, well-defined characters sums up for a good read that this book is. Henry Ashton, a retired British Army office gets a very odd request from a monk of a Laotian monastery, to find a hidden treasure. The treasure is a secret in a sacred mountain somewhere in Tibet.  

A very well-knit plot which keeps the reader engrossed, so engrossed that it comes as a surprise. I would expect such precision from a seasoned author, say, someone like Ludlum. Very few authors have the kind of style which makes readers come back to reading Indian authors again and Srinivasan is definitely one such author.

Rating: ****.5/5

[This review is for Hachette India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

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