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By Enakshion 2 May 2016
Format: Paperback
Enthralling, engaging and interesting- this is what comes to your mind when you finish this book. ‘Crossbow code’ is a great work of fiction. The suspense and the execution of the plot will keep the attention of the readers bound. The blurb of the story is apt and very precise. It builds up the interest of the readers and forces them to turn the pages of the book. The characterization is perfect. The cover of the book is thrilling. The title is catchy. The font (style and size) and other technical details of the book are perfect.
The storyline is strong. The way the author has divided the content into different scenes is commendable. The balance is so good that the interest is not lost at any point of time. The proofreading and editing are fine. The only problem is with the punctuation of Dialogues. After finishing a dialogue and ending it with a comma, the next word has to begin with a lower case letter unless it is a name. For an instance, “I am Khalid from Kashmir, sar. Are you from India or Pakistan? You look like an Indian,” He asked in return. The capitalization of the word in Bold is incorrect. It should have been he. This is just one example. But time and again similar errors can be spotted.
The portrayal of Kris’s strong character is exemplary. The language is lucid and narration is flawless. The author has succeeded in making the readers live every scene of the book. The twists and turns are sure to give you jitters.
Overall, a good book with a lot of suspense and mystery!
Best wishes to the author!

ByChittajit Mitraon 7 May 2016
Format: Paperback
The Crossbow Code is the latest thriller novel written by MC Raj. The author has already written 21 books & is a recipient of the Ambedkar International Literary Award. He also indulges in social work because of which he received the prestigious Ambedkar Award from Karnataka Government. He also got featured in various news channels like CNN, Newsweek & NDTV for his excellent work.

The story starts with a sensational news about how the Pope faints in front of people during Easter Mass. A man was arrested who was suspected to be a terrorist but didn’t have any such background. This stranger is a man named Kris who is our protagonist, the story mystifies as he tries to meet the Pope but after that the Pope was found dead. The story then expands into two more countries, India & then Germany. While our mysterious protagonist is on a run he is being chased by someone who wants him dead as soon as possible. To unravel all the mysteries you got to read this book!

When I started to read The Crossbow Code the first thing I was intrigued about was its cover & title. The cover is good but would’ve loved it even more if it had a little bit more detailing. The plot of the book is quite interesting & the author has succeeded up to an extent to make it racy & a smooth read, I liked the use of historic information in the story. I would’ve loved it even more if the protagonist have been portrayed a little bit more believable in some parts, also, I would’ve preferred the length of the book to be under 250 pages to make the story more packed. In all this book can only be a product of an experienced author like MC Raj & surely deserves to be read.

The Crossbow Code by MC Raj, is one book that narrates a thriller story of absolute brilliance, not only the storyline is strong, but I also appreciate the way the book is brought out, the cover is luring, and the title goes aptly with the story line, the book keeps the reader’s attention intact, and the grammar, language style, narration all deserve a well-sorted appreciation.

The only thing I find a taboo in the book is the incorrect use of punctuations, otherwise, it is one mature book, that everyone should give a read, especially those who like to read historical thrillers.

My regards to the author.

I personally liked the one-liner at the end of the paragraphs …
Byhimanshika sharmaon 28 April 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
The story is for history geeks. The author has successfully penned down the mysteries one after the other. I personally liked the one-liner at the end of the paragraphs that gave storyline an interesting touch. Poems are beautifully written. Language is captivating.
The way author has narrated the story is commendable. There are many revelations about the famous people of the past, whether fiction or reality, but it surely keeps readers hooked till the end. An awesome piece of creativity from the writer’s pen!

BySuhail Mathuron 10 March 2016
Format: Paperback
The Crossbow Code as a book displays the sheer skill, imagination, and creativity of the author, who has brought together famous personalities from different time zones and connected them in a coherent story line. This intriguing and thrilling novel is equally educating and makes for a wonderful conspiracy theory with respect to Jesus Christ.
It is a book every lover of historical fiction or of thrillers MUST read.
Looking forward to many more novels from the highly respected author, MC Raj.

ByVivek Dwivedion 8 May 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
Mr. M.C. Raj is a prolific author with various book titles to his credit and with these labels come an aura and craftsmanship to his writing. His latest offering, The Crossbow Code is a novel that’s set in the geographical locations of Vatican City (the home of Pope) and Mumbai and as exotic a location they could be, it’s the narrative of the book that makes them look mysteriously creepy. How many times can you possibly find The Pope talking to a commoner, that too from a Third World country like India which doesn’t boast of a huge Christian population either? Let me tell you from my experience that odds for that would be infinitely negative. But here we get to see one and one that’s hugely engaging. It’s an open secret that churches all over the world hide secrets and although many would find Dan Brown’s works as heresy, they do tend to point towards an inconvenient truth. The concepts of Christianity that I have come to known thanks to the works of Kathleen McGowan, Mel Gibson and Martin Scorsese (and not from Catholic Bible) are narrated with poise by the author. Kris, the protagonist of the book, also finds himself in the company of two more personnel, haggard looking, later in one dilapidated building of Rome and they let him know not only the deeply buried secrets of Vatican City and Christianity but Hinduism too. Wonderful narrative. But the book doesn’t only stop here with its suspense and mysteries for Pope is found murdered following a deeply disturbing discourse with Kris and now our hero is on the run. Has he really killed the Pope or is there someone else responsible for Pope’s murder and now chasing his life too? You’ve gotta find that after making the purchase for reviews for suspense thrillers tend to act as SPOILERS!!!

I definitely found some negatives with the book. Usually, when a book tries to synchronize the past of a character that has its own life with his/her present, it starts derailing. The first inconsistency shows up when Saul, one of the inhabitants of that dilapidated building, starts describing his association with the birth of Christianity and leads us towards Hinduism and while doing that, relates Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism. He brings us anecdotes about Hinduism to let us know its influence over early-period Christianity but at the crucial juncture, abandons it completely and I for one found it very difficult to comprehend this entire subplot. There was nothing to read between the lines, so the impact of this very interesting narrative got lost on me and left me in bad taste. Secondly, there are lack of literary nuances in the book. I want to ask the author/his publishing agency that how would he/it like to spell the word, SIR? Would it be S-I-R (that’s the right one) or S-A-R (that’s the one I found spelled in the book)? Now had it been a novice/debutante writer, I would have waved this mistake off but what about Mr. Raj who is a veteran of many book titles. That’s the one mistake who put me off so badly that at that very juncture, I decided to drop it for good and yes, had it not been for an interesting premise led out by the author, I would definitely have followed my heart. Good for everyone, though, rest of it came off pretty handy. Grammatical mistakes especially the use of punctuation marks and rest of follow up sentences need an experienced glance as well. Let’s do the scoring now:

a) Achievement – 2/2

b) Language Skills – 1.5/2

c) Plot and Character Development – 2/3

d) Editing and Proofreading – 1/2

e) Book Cover, Page Quality and Blurb – 1/1

Total: 7.5/10; 3.5/5 on a Five-Point Scale

Verdict: The Crossbow Code is nowhere close to being called a flawless book but its fast pace and shrewd plotting keep the readers in suspense and that’s where it fulfills its promise. It’s undoubtedly one of the better works by an Indian author in suspense thriller genre in recent memory.