Among the variegated genres of books, crime thrillers can be the most interesting stories to read provided they have a gripping plot and are written in a way that keeps you guessing the next move of the protagonists and the suspects till the last chapter. Dev Prasad’s third book, “The Curse of Surya” is one such fantastic thriller but with a uniqueness of a fiction written in a mythological background.
The author, Mr. Dev Prasad, is an IT professional residing in Bangalore. For his first book “Krishna: A journey through the Lands and Legends of Krishna”, he had done five years of intense research and numerous travels to Mathura, Vrindavan, Dwarka and other holy places associated with Lord Krishna. During these visits, many of his questions remained unanswered and hence the fiction “The Curse of Surya” was born in which he knit together all the mysterious places and these unanswered thoughts. His book “Pitch It!” was also highly praised.
“The Curse of Surya” is the mythological fiction about a race to find a jewel called the ‘Shyamantaka’ lost 5000 years ago during the time of Lord Krishna. Sangeeta Rao, a smart and beautiful reporter at a famous TV channel in Singapore, while on an important assignment in Agra, meets Alan Davies, a charming Welshman, who introduces himself as a teacher of Archaeology from England. They decide to attend a much-talked-about religious convention at Krishna Janmashthan Temple, Mathura where Swami Brij Mohan was, in his talk, going to reveal the place where the jewel was hidden. The Shyamantaka that belonged to the Sun God had a legend that said that the jewel produced gold in large quantities and hence many countries had been trying to find this jewel hidden by Vajranabha many years ago.
The mystery begins when a terrorist attack on the temple during the talk turns the duo, Sangeeta and Alan into fugitives. Sangeeta and Alan, with the help of Anton Blanchard, a museum curator from US, espaces from the UP police lead by SP Nisha Sharma and finds themselves in a race against time to find the lost jewel. The hunt leads these three people from different countries closer to the place of the hidden jewel every time they decrypt the set of Sanskrit clues left behind by Vajranabha. A series of events follows and Sangeeta finds herself caught in a treasure hunt filled with horror, deceit and mysteries. But with the police following their trail, will they be able to find the valuable lost jewel without getting caught? Who is the person with the wrong intention to steal the jewel and the one behind the murders? The story keeps you guessing till the end.
The plot is strongly built and the suspense scenes are written very well. The moment you start predicting the story, it takes an unbelievable twist. All the chapters end in a way that would urge you to move to the next chapter. The fast-paced thriller is written against the backdrop of religion and Indian history and the author’s research shows in the book. He has seamlessly blended the authenticity of places and life of Lord Krishna and the fiction of his unanswered thoughts, thus giving out a story that leaves us with bated breath in this chase for the Shyamantaka. I now realized that mythological fictions can be really interesting.
This gripping story has characters that seem real. Sangeeta and SP Nisha Sharma were my favorite characters for their strong roles and daring personalities. The book can be compared with the thrillers by authors like Sidney Sheldon and Dan Brown. “The Curse of Surya” would be a treat for young readers and fans of mystery and thrillers.
P.S. A big thank you to Mr. Dev Prasad who taught me that no person is great if he doesn’t have humility. Your beautiful replies to my mails made my day, Sir!