- Title – The Bankster
- Author – Ravi Subramanian
- Publisher – Rupa Publications
- Genre – Thriller
- Pages – 358
- Price – INR 250
- ISBN – 978-81-291-2048-9
Synopsis: 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 was he 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 36 hours at his disposal, he must fight the clock and trust no one if he is to stay alive and concur the truth.
Review: The plot is set in three different locations of the world. In Angola, where a covert CIA agent is about to exchange weapons for blood diamonds. In Kerela, where an elderly man Krishna Menon works for the welfare of the community at Devikulam to fulfill a promise he made to a dying son; and in Mumbai, where an international bank GB2 is coping with the shocking deaths of its three employees.
The story begins with a brief outline about the lives and business at the three said locations, though Mumbai dominates the scene. What sounds like a routine corporate story in the start slowly transforms itself into a mega financial thriller. I liked the pace of the plot and the intelligent way hints have been spread shining bright like the stars on a moon-less night.
Due care has been taken to keep the reader on their tenterhooks by building up the feel that the plot is pretty predictable but pulling the reins after the first 200 pages and landing up with a well-structured, logical, unpredictable ending.
Divided into short and crisp 47 chapters, the flow of words and gelling of the three parallel stories is seamless.The language is simple, non-distracting (with occasional use of words in Hindi) and the narration impeccable. The major part of the story is based within the premises of GB2 in Mumbai with the happenings in Angola, Kerala and Vienna adding to the buildup in line for a gripping climax.
I wish to congratulate the author in the wonderful way all characters have been evolved without including unnecessary details. The intricate web of lies, deceit and treachery has been well spun. Great care has been taken at making the story easily readable by a non-banker by briefly and crisply explaining the various strategies banks adopt in their business dealings.
The only glitch I could find (though it is more on the part of finding faults in an otherwise flawless plot) is the issue of blood diamonds and that of TNPP at Devikulam could have been elaborated a little more to make hidden motives behind the money laundering stand out clearer than they did in the current write-up. Besides, towards the end too many pieces of the puzzle seemed to fly and fall in place in very short time.
Having said that, I admire the way due care has been taken to provide answers and explanations to every and any queries that might rise in the reader’s mind when the mystery is finally solved, leaving no loopholes in the plot.
The book cover is well-designed suiting the plot and the title in silver does full justice to the impact this thriller leaves in the mind of the reader.
I highly recommend this unputdownable page-turner (I read it in one evening) that has left me determined to catch up on the other books by the author.
Rating: 4.25 /5
About the Author: The book cover claims, ‘Meet the John Grisham of banking – The Wall Street Journal’ and I whole-heartedly endorse the claim. Ravi Subramanian has won the Golden Quill Readers Choice award for his debut novel, If God was a banker. Other outstanding novels from his pen include, Devil in Pinstripes, The Incredible Banker & I Bought the Monk’s Ferrari.