Book Review: In the Name of God By Ravi Subramanian

There are lies… and there are secrets….

In an ancient temple that boasts of a strong religious faith, with a king who upholds this faith and the legend, a lot can happen in the name of God. What do you believe? Whom do you trust? What does it mean to have blind faith? In the Name of God by Ravi Subramanian, is a thriller, based on the Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, the assets it holds within its vaults and, the infamous controversies that arose after the Supreme Court directed a committee to open up these vaults. Packed with that adrenaline rush, it compels you to read right till that last page.

There are a series of murders, as the vault of the Padmanabhaswamy temple is opened. The locals believe it to be the wrath of God, as the assets inside are meant to belong to the Lord himself. On the other side of the country is a massive smuggling racket of antiques, from temples across south India, along with a heist in a mall in Dubai. For Kabir Khan from the Central Bureau of Investigation, it all seems murky. Along with the state police team headed by Krishnan and a few others, he tries to uncover the pieces of an intriguing murder mystery. How are the incidents related and who is behind it all? Or is it really the wrath of God?

The book surely boasts of an interesting plot, with seamless blending of actual facts with fiction. Real instances that have occurred, post the opening of the vault in 2011, have been strung together, merging them with the storyline. Powerful characterization- whether it is the snooty King or the curt Kabir Khan. Crisp narration, sans the use of superfluous adjectives, unnecessary monologues or random use of metaphors (surely thrillers don’t need them, right?)

Expect loads of twists and turns. I found a couple of loose ends here and there though, but probably it has been left intentionally for readers to make their own guesses. The end to the book was fairly decent. The unraveling of the suspense didn’t throw me overboard, nor did it disappoint me. I could guess the outcome somewhere just before the end. 

In the Name of God is slick and riveting- with a well-conceived plot and perfect use of facts. It has the right elements to be made into a Bollywood flick!

Go ahead and pick this up!

A note: The Anantha Padmanabhaswami temple is known across the globe for its immense fortune. Do read up a bit more about it and the controversies shrouding it, to help soak in the book better.

28 comments

  1. The author seems to have a fixation on God. The last book that I read was God is a banker. The title caught my attention but after going through half of the book I realized that it has nothing to do with God!
    But the author does have a grip over the banking, finance and technological thriller genre. I would love to read this book if I happen to get my hands on it.

    1. For a change , with this book he sure has deviated away from Banking. Its quite fast paced… Worth a read

      1. Thanks for replying. Never thought that I would get a reply from the author himself. I will pick up the book in my future purchase session.

        Also, my mistake when I wrote God is a banker instead of God is a gamer. Loved the bitcoin theme and learnt a lot about the founder and the entire mechanism because of the book.

  2. Good to see the author back in his element. After reading ‘Bestseller she wrote’, it worried me as to why the author wanted to write mediocre stories while he is so good in his thriller writer avatar. Will pick this up.

    1. Lol.. probably cause filmmakers have stopped putting in the effort of coming up with a good script. Its seems to be easier for them to make a book into a movie

    2. Actually no. Also making a movie out of a book is not easy. Thats why I guess, none of the big books got made into one. Except for CB’s books.
      I am making a sweeping generalisation here, but the fact is that Indian authors tend to put in a lot of characters and a number of plot angles which make it difficult for a bollywood adaptation. In The Name Of God has not been written with bollywood in mind, for sure 🙂

  3. I look forward to reading your book reviews, Ramya. they are concise and refreshingly honest. I recently read ‘The Rise of Sivagami’ by the same author and was hooked! I am going to be picking this up based on your review. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Really enjoyed your review, Ramya. For one thing, I like Ravi’s blog for the honesty in it. But I heard negative reviews of a couple of his books. I wasn’t really sure if this was a genre I wanted to read or a writer I wanted to follow based on the reviews. Now, since you mention that the writing is good, I may well pick this up if I ever get through my Eiffel Tower of TBR 😉

  5. I have been waiting for your new book after I read “She wrote the best seller” last time. The moment I got to know I bought it from crossword and started reading after my late night shift which ends at 2 AM. Still I had the energy to read the book. The fast paced story and so many connected suspense kept me awake to finish the book in just 7 hours. Hope there is a sequel to the book.

  6. I just finished this book and was so glued to it. This is my first read from this author. A good work indeed, fast paced laced with actual incidences , slick and smart narration . Enjoyed every bit

Have something to say?