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Book Review: The Rozabal Line by Ashwin Sanghi

Title: The Rozabal Line
Author: Ashwin Sanghi
Paperback: 346 pages
Publisher: Westland Limited (2010, first published October 1st 2007)
Genre: Historical Fiction / Thriller
Read: Paperback
Stars: */5
Buy On: Amazon | FlipKart
Summary: (Goodreads)
A cardboard box is found on a shelf of a London library where a copy of Mahabharata should have been. When the mystified librarian opens it, she screams before she falls unconscious to the floor. An elite group calling itself the Lashkar-e-Talatashar has scattered around the globe, the fate of its members curiously resembling that of Christ and his Apostles. Their agenda is Armageddon. In the labyrinthine recesses of the Vatican, a beautiful assassin swears she will eliminate all who do not believe in her twisted credo. In Tibet, Buddhist monks search for a reincarnation while in strife-torn Kashmir, a tomb called Rozabal holds the key to an ancient riddle. Father Vincent Sinclair, has disturbing visions of himself and of people familiar to him, except that they seem located in other ages. He goes to India to piece together the violent images burnt onto his mind. Shadowing his every move is a clandestine society, which would rather wipe out creation than allow an ancient secret to be disclosed.

My Review:


Cover: Dark and not really compelling.

Paper and font: Easy on the eyes!

Readability, language: Simple language but a taxing book to read.

Why did I choose this book: After reading Chanakya’s chant, I wanted to read Sanghi’s other books.

Jesus lived to old age and didn’t die on the crucifix. That’s the core of Sanghi’s story as he takes us across the world and across time as he tries to rewrite another ‘Da Vinci Code’.

The blurb mentions London, the Vatican, Afghanistan, India, Tibet, and America. It sounds interesting and action packed but the number of cities mentioned should have tipped me off on the complexity of the book.

The book is definitely inspired by the Da Vinci Code but doesn’t come close to it at all in quality. There are plots and subplots and sub-subplots in the book that leaves you all screwed up in your head. Sanghi has so many religious groups, characters, cities and times that you start to lose track of it all almost as soon as you start the book. If I wasn’t such a stickler for finishing books I would have dropped this one like a hot potato 50 pages into the book.

Where is the book set? This question is just too stressful to answer. Sanghi shuttles between Jerusalem, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Pakistan, America, Tibet, and almost every other country in the world. And it doesn’t end here because he also shuttles through time going back and forth between BC and AD so often that sometimes you are no sure where you are.

As for characters, well he has so many that I’m not sure which ones to talk about. There is Vincent Sinclair a priest who is exploring beyond Christianity. Martha his aunt who knows yoga, Reki, hypnosis and many other things; can one human know and do so much. Then there’s Alissa the American president who also heads the Illuminati, Galib who heads Lashkar-e-Talatashar, the Sheikh and his master Osama who lead the Al-Qaeda, Dawood Omar an important member of Jamaat Islami, Valerio who heads Crux Decussata Permuta, Swakilki a Japanese assassin, among many more characters. Just keeping track of all the characters is tiring.

As a story I think its a good concept but it feels like a thesis written by the RSS trying to prove Hinduism is the beginning and end of all religions in the world. If there was a structure to the book, I didn’t see it. Sanghi starts off and then just keeping going all over trying to connect the dots and bring it all together.

The Rozabal Line is Sanghi’s first book self-published by him and that is the only reason I could find to forgive this piece of work. I can relate with every publisher/editor who rejected his work; I would too.

Gawd, I don’t want to write any more about The Rozabal Line. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this book. You’re better off re-reading the Da Vinci Code.

About the Author:
Ashwin Sanghi is an entrepreneur by day, novelist by night and has all the usual qualifications of an Indian businessman. ‘The Rozabal Line’ was originally self-published in 2007 under his anagram-pseudonym—Shawn Haigins. In 2008 Westland published the book in India under his own name. Ashwin lives in Mumbai with his wife, Anushika, and his eight-year old son, Raghuvir. His website is www.ashwinsanghi.com.

Buy On: Amazon | FlipKart

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  • Freya, sometimes the hype around an author or a single book is so intense, the actual product does not always live up to expectations. Have your read “The Krishna Key” by the same author? Just for the heck of it, I’d like to read The Rozabal Line – let me know if you’re up for a swap with The Krishna Key. Going by your review here, I think the KK was slightly more organized 😀

  • Hey Vidya I agree that a lot of times hype can kill the book for me but then again so do high expectations. It’s one of the reasons why I try as best as I can to stay unbiased and keep my expectations in check as I read a book. Sadly with all that I was still sorely disappointed by the Rozabal Line.

    I have read Ashwin Sanghi’s other books though. Both Chanakya’s Chant and Krishna’s Key and both show that he has grown as a writer and is getting better with each book. Should have my reviews on those two up on the blog soon.

    Sorry I can’t exchange RL for KK with you. Had borrowed the Rozabal Line from the library. But I’d love to work an exchange for some other books.

    I have one correction to your comment – “I think the KK was slightly more organized”. Krishna’s Key is not slightly but way way more organised and well written.

    I’d love to your what you think of The Rozabal Line after you read it. Especially since you also read Krishna’s Key first. :)

  • :-) A big yes to the other book swaps! Also, I ‘d be happy to share digital versions of books – I have a massive library of those. Let me know your wishlist

    Since I haven’t read The Rozabal Line – I was just guessing re the organization. Here’s my review of The Krishna Key :-)

    I’ll get TRL from the library :)

    I am currently loving Rajnikanth – the definitive biography :-)

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