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Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Bankster By Ravi Subramanian

Title:  The Bankster
Author:  Ravi Subramanian
Date:  2012
Publisher:   Rupa Publications India.
Number of Pages: 364
Price: Rs. 250

This book review is a part of BlogAddas book review program. I would like to begin with thanking BlogAdda for selecting my blog amongst the only 10 blogs selected to review this book and their patience for the review which was delayed due to my ill health. My sincere apologies to them and the author Ravi Subramanian for the same. Also thanks to the author again who expressed his interest in getting his book review to be done by me and was willing to send a copy. Luckily it was the same day Blogadda sent me the selection email. 

This is the first book i read written by Ravi Subramaniam, but as I turned the first page and saw the list of books he has authored so far and i must say his choice of titles is excellent, gripping and I then made up my mind to read all of his books. Certainly when I finished reading this one, the urge to read the others is now more pronounced.  Now coming to this book, The Bankster, is a tale which is not only a good story but also written methodically and is well structured. Its a neat book and once one starts reading you easily understand the flow and enjoy the flow. Three stories an exchange of weapons by an under cover CIA agent, a protest against an upcoming powerplant TNPP by an old man Krishna Menon as a promise to his dying son  along with politics around and a banGreater Boston Global Bank (GB2) run independently. The first plot is that of arms exchange and that certainly grips the reader whose minds curious horses are ready to run. However till the middle of the story most part is consumed in building the story that does slow the pace of the suspense involved but is interesting enough to grip the reader. 

Then goes on life in the bank with characters like HR manager, them hiring employees, some favouritism, some politics, as one would expect. However there begins a series of murders, at unexpected locations, beginning with first of an RM Parneesh, followed by two more which involves the banks best RM. The third murder sets in motion Karan Punjabi who was previously working with GB2 but then shifted to a news channel. He is sharp, dynamic and a friend of the character that gets murdered. He along with a team comprising of security team of the bank is the task force which would unravel the murder mystery. Side by side Krishna Menon plans a huge rally with people to protest against the TNPP nuclear plant along with his friend Jayakumar who brings with him money, power and politics into this movement. Menon is happy as his single leader low scale movement now is noticed by people and gets the needed enthusiasm and scale. However, one of the guest scientists at the movement from Germany gets arrested! Further it is discovered he is Jayakumar's ally. This unravels different motives of his friend and Menon is forced to part ways as his principles are being compromised. Also it opens up a fact that there are countries that donot want the 3 billion dollar invested by the government in TNPP to bear its fruits.

Karan Punjabi's investigation leads him to the false accounts and suspicious transactions through GB2. Will he be able to unravel and find who all are involved or like the others who knew too much get killed too. Will  Krishna Menon fulfill his promise to his dying son? How are these stories and murders linked? These questions keep you going till the end.

Positives:  The story is good, well structured and written. Language is simple and the author has outlined each character very well, which is a difficult job in a multi character story. The three plots move as expected and the flow is good. An important thing to acknowledge is that the story is minutely detailed about banking world and its workings. 

Negatives:  The first chapter of the story is very interesting and one feels the thrill however later on till the middle of the story the suspense quotient falls, nevertheless those parts are interesting enough to keep the reader going. However there was a scope for it to be more thrilling. The ending was a little predictable and its a little milder than hard core thriller.

The Verdict!!!  An enjoyable recommended read. Three stars out of five from The Readers Cosmos.

About the AuthorRavi Subramanian: an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, has spent two decades working his way up the ladder of power in the amazingly exciting and adrenaline-pumping world of global banks in India. It is but natural that his stories are set against the backdrop of the financial services industry. He lives in Mumbai with his wife Dharini and daughter Anusha. In 2008, he won the Golden Quill Readers Choice award for his debut novel, If God was a Banker. 

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