The Rozabal line, is a historical fictional thriller, published in 2007 by Ashwin Sanghi under the pseudonym Shawn Haigins. This book marked the debut of Ashwin Sanghi in the world of literature. The Rozabal line was widely acclaimed for its gripping plot and narrative style. Its revised edition was then printed under the author’s real name.
The controversial theories regarding the survival of Jesus Christ from crucifixion, his marriage to Mary Madalene, his surviving bloodline, his stay in India and his final resting place, form the primary plot of this roller-coaster thriller. The book derives its title from the Rozabal shrine in Srinagar in Kashmir, rumoured to be the tomb of Jesus.
Ashwin Sanghi is hailed as the Dan Brown of India and this book proves that the title is well-deserved. His style of writing is definitely influenced by Dan Brown. The incredible amount of research that Ashwin Sanghi has done before penning down his first book is commendable. The mannerism in which the author has correlated various religions, philosophies, historical and current political scenarios to whip up an epic fictional thriller, is awe-inspiring. This book is definitely a mind-churner.
This book comes close to ticking all the right checkboxes but eventually misses the mark. Ashwin Sanghi had a great plot to weave a page-turner fiction thriller but this book ends in disappointment. There are far too many characters in this 300+ page novel that a reader can hardly keep track of. There are innumerable plots, sub-plots, flashbacks, past-life theories, 200 odd characters, that leave the readers puzzled. It becomes painstakingly difficult to ascertain which characters are to be made a mental note of, for reference in the future course of the story. The narrative rapidly switches between centuries, continents and time zones that can be challenging for the reader while following the storyline. Every chapter has a new character, is set in a different time-zone and a different century. The only way a reader can completely comprehend this book is by sitting down with a pen and paper and make notes while reading this book!
The huge success of this book made me pick it up to explore it. Post reading it, I felt like a student who has just finished his exam, feels relieved that it is over and just hazily remembers the subject thereafter.
My verdict – I am neutral towards the book. Do pick it up if you want to solve a magnanimous puzzle.