Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Bankster by Ravi Subramanian

Title : The Bankster
Author : Ravi Subramanian
Genre : Mystery, Thriller
Publisher : Rupa Publications
Pages : 364
My Rating : 8.5/10
Reviewed For : Blogadda


Bankers build their careers on trust, or so everyone thinks, till a series of murders threaten to destroy the reputation that the Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) has built over the years. Who is behind these killings, and what is their motive? Is the banker at GB2 fast turning into a bankster? Or he was always one?

When Karan Panjabi, press reporter and ex-banker, digs deeper, he realizes that he has stumbled upon a global conspiracy with far reaching ramifications a secret that could not only destroy the bank but also cast a shadow on the entire nation. With only thirty-six hours at his disposal, he must fight the clock and trust no one if he is to stay alive and uncover the truth.

Spinning an intricate web of lies, deceit and treachery, bestselling author Ravi Subramanian, a master storyteller of financial crime and winner of the Golden Quill Readers Choice Award, returns with his most gripping thriller yet.

My review:

Well, to start with this is my first review for Blogadda & when I received a signed copy for review I was absolutely chuffed!! Tearing open the cover (literally!), the first thing that jumped out to me was the cover of this book. It’s throws off an uber sinister vibe depicting our “Bankster” with a briefcase in one hand & a pistol in another standing at what appears to be our own Mumbai’s Queen’s Necklace & with a plane rushing out in the skyline.

Moving on to the author, with three best selling thrillers on banking already in his kitty, Ravi Subramanian continues to keep the readers on the very edge with this Bank lore. To be honest, I have never read Ravi Subramanian before so I did not know what cracker of a plot was awaiting me!! But now after reading this financial thriller, I intend to visit each of his reads...

So the plot kick offs in Angola where a covert CIA agent seals off an arms deal in lieu of blood diamonds. The author then takes us to an episode in the past in Kerala where a resort owner is falsely accused of a crime that he has not committed. Laying down these two brief but essential blocks, the author steers the plot to his home ground – yes you guessed it right!! – The Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) in Mumbai. At GB2, the author acquaints us not only with the power games (which turn as twisted as the plot proceeds) but also with a sundry of characters. With people in power trying to usurp even more power by manoeuvring each possible opportunity for their own gain while heady & young Relationship Managers trying to climb their way up the corporate ladder by any possible means, GB2 is fast becoming a breeding ground for rivalry & competitions. However, the “who wins it-who loses it” mood at the bank is hampered by a series of murders & it’s long before someone really starts connecting the dots & voila!! A pattern emerges. This is when, Karan Punjabi – the ex-banker, who is now the Financial Editor at The Times of India, steps in & opens up the Pandora’s Box as he unearths the real reasons for the death of GB2 employees.

So basically we have three plots, one with a CIA agent whose work is to strike deals for his agency. Second plot revolves around an aging man’s lone struggle in Devikulum, Kerala against the government. After the horrors of Chernobyl (Russia) & Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (Japan), Krishna Menon wants the government to come clean on the environmental impacts of a Nuclear Plant set up in Kerala & the measures taken to avoid history repeating in India!! Thirdly, we have the carnage going on at GB2 which, on the face of it, are deemed as suicides. Do you get a connection???? Of course, you didn’t & you aren’t even supposed to & neither did I!! But you have to hand it down to the author for not only weaving these three seemingly disjointed plots together seamlessly but also doing so with an edge. However, the absolute smasher of a plot is written in the last 75 pages of this book, where the hunter becomes the hunted & it is revealed who indeed holds the strings!!

The plot is spanned across diverse locales – from Angola to Kerala to Mumbai to Vienna – and as you dart from one locus to another, you will experience what is known as a rollercoaster of a ride!! Also, each character in the plot is relatable, since the author brings out the most basic human instincts through them. Greed for more power, backstabbing, envy, moral bankruptcy - just to name a few!! The plot can be compared to a big game of chess where you don’t know who is a pawn & who is the king till the end!!

Fortunately I received this book on a Friday & before I knew it I was done with over the weekend!! I never realised how I breezed past the bulk of the book!! And I can say that for non bankers like me, the author provides an interesting insight into the banking world - all neatly packaged & beautifully presented replete with its corporate twists & turns where loyalties keep changing every second. The only point that did not go well with me was that at the end not all the characters were given the right attention which left me kind of unsatiated. But other than that, this book is a Total Blockbuster..oops...a “Bankbuster”...
This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at . Participate now to get free books!


No comments:

Post a Comment