I shall have to give a very mixed review on this work. Some parts were good, some not so good, and yet others outright ridiculous.
Purely as a murder mystery, I think it has done justice to the genre. There is a serial killer roaming the streets of Benares, who with every kill leaves behind hints to the next, openly daring the police force to do whatever they can about it. Then follows the usual profiling and attempting to understand the reason for the murders and so forth. Is it a madman? Is it a fanatic? Is it a Hindu or a Christian? Pretty standard stuff, really. But the author indeed succeeds in keeping the reader guessing about the identity of the killer until the very end of the book. This was all that kept me reading to the end. Apart from this, I found nothing to count among its pros.
The not so good:
Readers who have also read The Da Vinci Code and are also familiar with the typical Bollywood masala productions will not fail to recognize that this book is a strange cross-breed. Set in Benares instead of Paris, on the banks of River Ganges rather than around the Louvre Museum, but otherwise very similar in many respects. The reader is given a leisurely tour of the various cremation grounds, temples and marijuana dens in Benares, and is also fed enough history about the place. Personally, I am quite easily bored by all such babble that has nothing to do with the actual story, so I simply skipped over such parts without losing the thread of the main story. A latent romance between the protagonist and an FBI agent is kept simmering throughout the tale, which also I simply skipped over such parts without losing the thread of the main story.
The outright ridiculous:
Though in general the character development was well-done, sometimes (and all of a sudden) they appear incredible or unbelievable. At some points this goes to the extremes. The protagonist brings his father to Benares supposedly so that he may die peacefully, but prefers to spend his nights with the FBI agent rather than with his dying father. The father is bent on ending his life at Benares, but he makes his attempts only when his son is around to save him. Anyway--and this is not a spoiler--he does not die in Benares. In one scene the protagonist breaks open a bullet-proof glass-box by simply slamming it twice with his bare fist. The killer--who comes across as an efficient killing machine--throws away several chances of easily finishing off the protagonist for no apparent reason. The protagonist will not die no matter where he is shot (of course, we wouldn't have had this story if he had died right in the prologue).
But perhaps this is all expected of the author, who has been writing scripts for Bollywood and television since 2006, and was a crime reporter prior to that.
Apart from all that ridiculousness, there are some gaping holes in the premises of the plot and the story, which I shall not discuss lest I give away the mystery.