Name: Digital God
Author: Nikhilkumar Singh
Publisher: Harper Black
Price: Rs 299
The opening scene of Digital God introduces Kanu Vasukumar’s character as a compassionate, “cyber-age Krishna”, or ace hacker and owner of the cyber cafe and a start up, M-N-R or Money Not Required. If that does not warn you of things to come, you might as well plod on through this weakly-plotted, patchy novel. Kanu goes by the moniker ‘digital god’ in the underground hacking community and his prodigious skills lands him in all kinds of trouble, and his delicious good looks lands him all the ladies.
The cliches and predictable hooks do not end here. There is an intrepid journalist (though not a very efficient one), Darshu Soni, “pale skinned, dark haired, and with innocent good looks.” The two bond over their mutual disdain for non-vegetarians or “flesh-eating predators, murderers” as Singh refers to them. Before long, they are embroiled in a misadventure that takes them through a seedy mish-mash of betrayal, revenge, and unresolved issues.
With the help of Darshu, Kanu takes on his uncle Rana, the man who took away his father’s software company and hard-earned wealth. The author uses his familiarity with Hyderabad, where the story is set, well and the setting is convincing, but that’s about all there is. Rana has a few fleeting moments of glaring menace, but it’s not enough to save Digital God.