Sniffing Along Several Mysterious Trails
Science, religion and crime – the perfect ingredients for a mystery thriller. Mix them with a tinge of Dan Brown’s satire and Sherlock Holme’s subtle humour, and what you get is a fast-paced read called The Steridian Trail, Book #0 of the Infinity Cycle by M N Krish.
The book, etched out after layers of drafts, is the first in a series of three. “The idea for the book came to me when I was a student in MIT, Boston, in the 1990s. I wanted to write about something that interconnected with religion, science and maths. My years of reading these subjects helped me bring out the first book with ease,” says Krish.
Extensive research or not, listen to the plot from the author, and you know that he must have grilled his grey cells to invent such a page-turner. “It all starts with a murder in the US. Then the scene moves to India, starts in Chennai, as the characters – Joshua, his friend professor Lakshman and undergraduate student Divya, unknot the mysteries through the book,” he says. While one would be meeting the same characters in the forthcoming books in the Infinity Cycle series, the plot will be distinct, he says.
Diluting the adrenaline rush of murder and a hot trail, is what he calls the ‘cultural humour’. “It has to do with subtle intelligent jokes. Though from the feedback I got, it probably didn’t vibe with everybody,” says the PG Wodehouse fan. However, he adds that he is surprised that many British people seemed to have connected with it and hints about a twist in the story that would appeal to the South Indian audience.
Working for a US-based startup in Chennai currently, Krish says that most of his writing happens at night, after office hours. So it isn’t surprising that the project which he kickstarted in 2003, took a decade to see daylight. The wait, however, has been worth it for the IIT-MIT graduate, whose debut project is already in the nascent stage of being taken up as a series in the UK.
While the wait for the series or even the next book might take a while, busy yourself with the little clues he gives. “Steridian is a mathematical unit and that remarks the turning point in the book, you will understand as you read it,” he says. And why Book #0? He replies with a touch of philosophy, “Everything starts and ends with zero and there is no zero without infinity.”