Adith Tom Alex is perhaps one of the youngest authors in India. This 15-year-old boy has grabbed the attention of literary world by penning a crime thriller on his own. Adith's debut novel 'Shroud of the Devil' has been published on August 27 by K Jayakumar, former chief secretary of Kerala.
Adith is a tenth standard student at St. Antony’s Public School, Kanjirappally, and also serves as the head boy there.
“Shroud of the Devil”, which spans over 280 pages, is based on the Stargate Project of the U.S Army unit established in 1978 and the ongoing debate on Hitler’s death. The establishment of the Stargate Project in Fort Meade, Maryland, was aimed at researching on the potential for psychic phenomena in Defence and Intelligence fields.
The CIA later scrapped the project and declassified as it couldn’t find any real use in continuing with it.
“It is always good to see young Indians take writing early on,” Dr Shashi Tharoor, MP, commented on the novel.
Adith got the inspiration for the book as one of his friends once cracked a bad joke about Hitler. At the end, it become more than a joke and the foundation of the book. The fictional characters Edward Brooks and John Doe created by the author are the central characters of the novel.
It was at Sainik School, Kazhakoottam, Adith picked up the reading habit. By 2016, he finished reading all the crime thrillers of Dan Brown. “The year I spent at Sainik School honed my interests and gave me the hunger to read,” Adith said.
Adith, who used to write from the early childhood, also have a habit of making others read.
The biggest wish of Adith was to publish a novel before the age of 15. He started writing during the 2019 mid-summer vacations. Chennai-based publishing house Notion Press is the publisher of the novel. “I don’t know how to describe his passion. He made a lot of research and read books which satisfies the historical events mentioned in the novel. I feel proud of him as he finished his novel in just two months” said Alex Tom, Adith’s father.
The novel was edited by Kabani C, Assistant Development Commissioner of Kozhikode.
The acclaimed author of Goat Days, Benyamin also commented on the novel. “Thrilling and astonishing. A remarkable debut and a clear evidence of generation change in writing”.
Adith is now in the works of another horror thriller based on some conspiracies rooted in Kerala.