The Shrine Of Death
Author: Divya Kumar
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt. Ltd.
(Pp 338, 978-93-8745754-6, Rs 399)
This is a crime novel, which revolves around a beautiful, fiery young historian who discovered that two priceless bronzes from the 10th century have disappeared without a trace. An IT professional in Chennai is plunged into a murky world of idol theft, murder, and betrayal after she gets a mysterious phone call one night from her old friend Sneha Pillai. She seeks the help of his friend Jai, a troubled young man with a tragic past, and the gorgeous DSP Gerard Ratnaraj of the Idol Wing, CID. Their search takes them to the abandoned sepulchral shrine of a Chola queen and nothing is found. But, in the meantime, Sneha Pillai body was found buried in the basement of Jai’s house.
The author, from her days as a reporter at The Hindu, popular daily newspaper, had been reading about idol thefts from South Indian temples. One theft made her write about it as a novel. One can relate to the characters to real life. The style is flowing. As written in running texts, telling about the events relating to concerned persons in between, adds to the reader’s thoughts to the characters already read and wanting to know further about their life styles. These fit in nicely to the steps for continuation of story. A reader would like to read the book uninterruptedly.