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Book Review: The Krishna Key

by Vidya Sury October 16, 2012 18 comments

The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi
(bestselling author of The Rozabal Line and Chanakya’s Chant)

Language: English

Genre: Thriller

Publisher: Westland

Price: Rs 250/- (in 2012)

Pages: 475
ISBN: 978-93-81626-68-9

Remember the book – The Krishna Key, I mentioned in this post? Well, here’s the book review, as promised.
First, let us look at what the book says on the back cover:

Five thousand years ago, there came to earth a magical being called Krishna, who brought about innumerable miracles for the good of mankind. Humanity despaired of its fate if the Blue God were to die but was reassured that he would return in a fresh avatar when needed in the eventual Dark Age—the Kaliyug. In modern times, a poor little rich boy grows up believing that he is that final avatar. Only, he is a serial killer.
In this heart-stopping tale, the arrival of a murderer who executes his gruesome and brilliantly thought-out schemes in the name of God is the first clue to a sinister conspiracy to expose an ancient secret—Krishna’s priceless legacy to mankind.
Historian Ravi Mohan Saini must breathlessly dash from the submerged remains of Dwarka and the mysterious lingam of Somnath to the icy heights of Mount Kailash, in a quest to discover the cryptic location of Krishna’s most prized possession. From the sand-washed ruins of Kalibangan to a Vrindavan temple destroyed by Aurangzeb, Saini must also delve into antiquity to prevent a gross miscarriage of justice. Ashwin Sanghi brings you yet another exhaustively researched whopper of a plot, while providing an incredible alternative interpretation of the Vedic Age that will be relished by conspiracy buffs and thriller-addicts alike.
For me, the book did not quite live up to that description.
The story revolves around four scientists who are also friends, a tough police officer, a Don (mafia style), a lawyer, his daughter and various other characters. Oh wait, I loved Rathore, the police officer’s deputy, who just did his job. The conjecture is that Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu, is not a mythological character, but someone who existed 5000 years ago. Efforts are on to unearth the beautiful city of Dwarka built by Krishna. In the meantime, an ancient seal has been found which is believed to unlock a very valuable treasure, left behind by Krishna, which is priceless.
The book begins very promisingly with a murder and I really expected it to race ahead. It did not.
Prof Saini, the deceased’s friend, has been framed for the murder and must now set about proving he did not. While on the run, the story unfolds, meandering on and off to give us glimpses into the various characters’ lives and why they are the way they are, while the prof delivers a series of history lessons. He talks about the Vedic Age, delves into the importance of the sacred number “108” and connects it with a whole lot of incidents regardless of geographic boundaries, theorizes that Mount Kailash, the abode of Shiva is actually a man made structure, that Shiv and Vish are two sides of the same coin, and various other concepts which I enjoyed reading, being sort of a history and mythology buff. References are made to the Philosopher’s Stone. Many parts of the book seemed very non-fiction – and the story was forcibly woven into the historian’s ramblings.
I got my cheap thrills reading this from Page 22: “Forty-three years old, Radhika Singh had the body of a Rajput warrior queen but the analytical mind of a Tamil engineer.” Hmm. Nice. Very nice.
The book reminds one of Dan Brown’s books – but only because of the concept. I must confess that The Da Vinci Code was an edge of the seat read and fast paced, while this was not. But then this is not a comparison between the two books – this is a review of The Krishna Key. I had heard so much about Ashwin Sanghi’s other books that I was very eager to read this.
Though I enjoyed reading, for the umpteenth time, the ongoing story of Krishna (narrated by himself – who doesn’t love the Bhagvad Gita or Mahabharata?) at the beginning of each chapter, there were moments when I did not see the relevance. But I liked the author’s idea of connecting the events in the epics with the current story line.
I was very disappointed about Taarak Vakil’s character which started out so promisingly and just fizzled off. He was simply the stooge of Priya Ratnani, the History student/teacher turned villain, who decides to create Kalki, the tenth avatar of Vishnu.
While the book was a good read, I thought it was somewhat long drawn out on the explanations – and even if one were familiar with Hindu Mythology, it did drag in places.
I must admit I liked the women characters in the book – Priya Ratnani and Radhika Singh – determined women who simply focus on what they want to do.
I rather liked the way the book ended, too. No – not telling what it is! Did they succeed in cracking the mystery of the Krishna Key? You will have to read the book and find out.
Sanghi has done his research. Lots of it. Exhaustive. That takes effort.I appreciate it.
Will I read Sanghi’s Rozabal line and Chanakya’s Chant? – yep. I might!
Do I recommend the book? If you enjoy history, mythology, conspiracy theories, you might like the book.
I’d give the book a 3 out of 5.
P.S.: Note to Ashwin Sanghi – your editor slipped up.
Obvious errors are:
Page 301 – Instead of Radhika Singh, it says Priya
Page 389 – it says Priya and Radhika put their hands up instead of Saini and Radhika
This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books! Thank you, BlogAdda!

I also received an autographed copy of the book from MySmartPrice.com , a price comparison website that helps users find the best price for mobile phones, books, cameras and lots more. I gifted the book to my friend.

Thank you for subscribing to my blog! Do consider leaving a comment – or just reply to this email! I’d love to know what you think.



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My Inner Chick October 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Ahhh, page 22! Sounds like my sort of man 🙂

Vidya, Have you read “The God of Small Things” Yet?

You will adore it.

Love you more than chicken soup on a cold Sunday afternoon.

Vidya Sury October 20, 2012 at 6:06 am

🙂 Hugs! Kim! Radhika Singh is a woman 😉 I haven’t read “The God of Small Things” yet – but I have the book (yes, shame on me). When I review this, I will dedicate it to you!

Love you more than hot crisp fritters on a rainy Sunday afternoon!

Fran Sorin October 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Vidya- You’re a top notch reviewer. Great plot. If I were a novel reader, I’d check it out. xxoo-Fran

Vidya Sury October 20, 2012 at 6:04 am

It was a good read, Fran. 😀 Thanks for the lovely compliment!

Pamela Fagan Hutchins October 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Very good, very balanced review. The book sounds very interesting. I actually love to read books where I learn a lot about interesting and (to me) new areas, a la Da Vinci Code. This sounds intriguing to me.

Vidya Sury October 20, 2012 at 6:02 am

Pamela, when you are here, I’ll gift you the book 😀

Love, Vidya

Jack October 20, 2012 at 5:05 am

Do you need to know much about Indian culture to appreciate this book?

Vidya Sury October 20, 2012 at 5:56 am

Not culture, per se, Jack – but familiarity with the story of Krishna or the Mahabharata certainly helps appreciate it more. While the author relates the story of Krishna at the beginning of each chapter as a running series throughout the book – for someone who has not read it before, I’d recommend reading it first – it increases the enjoyment of this book as the author has attempted to connect Krishna’s story with the story in the book. 🙂

And by the way – we grew up with Krishna’s stories. The Mahabharata is an amazing epic – of the stories within stories sort. Let me know if you’d like to read the Mahabharata – I’ll send you the links to the pdfs 😀

Rituraj Verma January 7, 2013 at 4:41 pm


I liked your blog. I thought that we could do a few cross blog things.

Would you be interested in reviewing my new book “Love, Peace and Happiness:What more can you want?”

I could do an author interview on yours. I could also post your review on my fanpage referenced below which has more than 20,000 fans giving you a whole new set of visitors.

Let me know if this makes sense for your blog.

Rituraj Verma, author

ramakrishna s January 24, 2013 at 9:34 am

When i read the authors interview, the book sounded very interesting. But the feel i get from your review is, it is not.

Mukesh February 19, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Hey Vidya,

Just a point, Ashwin do listed out the list of typos on his website.

Also, we’re experimenting with video reviews. The first one is of The Krishna Key.

Do let me know your views.


warm regards,
(PS: feel free to share, embed or thrash it)

Vidya Sury February 19, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Great idea, Mukesh. I noticed that they never once showed the book in the review. 😀 🙂 Thank you for dropping by.

Mukesh Rijhwani March 9, 2013 at 6:16 am


rajani nair March 9, 2013 at 5:53 am

started reading the book a week back..just reaching Chandigarh..interesting!! in the meantime thought of going through the reviews. after reading your encouraging reviews,, now back to the book..will recommend to like minded friends. rajani nair

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This Too, Shall Pass - Vidya Sury June 28, 2014 at 11:28 pm

[…] I also caught up on my reading and finished a couple of books – you can see the reviews here: The Krishna Key and The Shadow Throne. I also wrote a guest post titled “What my son taught me about […]

PAS Devi February 2, 2017 at 12:26 pm

Ha!Quite interesting.Thanks !Your review inspires to read.Regards and Best wishes.Namasthe.

Vidya Sury February 7, 2017 at 12:04 am

It was an interesting book!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Are you living in your dream home?


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