09 November, 2012

#BookReview :: The Bankster by Ravi Subramanian

The uneasy calm in Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) is shattered when a series of murders rock the façade of the compliant and conforming bank that GB2 has built up over the years. Who is to blame? Who is driving these intriguing and bone chilling murders? What is the motive behind these gruesome killings? No one has a clue.

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

In the racy build up to unraveling the mystery, stranger than fiction characters emerge, faith get shattered and ivory towers come crashing down. Bankers build their careers on trust, or so everyone thought - till the day the truth within GB2 gets revealed. Is the banker at GB2 fast turning into a Bankster? Or was he always one?

Spinning an intricate web of lies, deceit and treachery, bestselling author Ravi Subramanian is back. A master storyteller of financial crime, this is his most chilling thriller yet.

The book cover said, “Meet the John Grisham of Banking – Wall Street Journal.” That put me on alert mode immediately because I love John Grisham. He is THE BEST when it comes to legal thrillers. So obviously the quote on the cover raised my expectation from the book and at the same time it also made me a bit vary. I haven’t read any of his previous books and so I kept wondering whether it would really be that good? I have to admit that I dilly-dallied a bit only because I did not want to be disappointed.

I need not have worried…

The story starts in Angola and swiftly shifting to Kerala giving us a glimpse of diamond racketeering. Then the focus shifts onto the Head Office of Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2). A number of deaths within a short span among the employee ranks of GB2 break the calm. The seemingly normal deaths – suicide and road accident – seems just that till one person, and ex-employee turned journalist, digs deep and comes up with a theory that makes these deaths look not so random or natural. On the other hand there’s a social activist who may have more to his character than what it seems.

The plot is a multi-faceted, complicated web that manages to entangle its readers completely. There are three parallel stories going on that keep you in the loop with the complete picture yet successfully blind you from the main culprit. You will keep guessing and trying to work your way through. The story ties in a variety of industries, objects, locations and people with scoop on the banking industry, blood diamonds, social activists and what not. From murder to politics to racketeering to money laundering, this novel has it all with a top up of some very interesting characters. On one hand we have spicy characters like the present employees of Greater Boston Global Bank – Vikram, Zinaida, Tanuja and Indrani. On the other hand we have colourful characters like social activist Krishna & my favourite character - Journalist Karan.

The story is pretty fast paced and at no point does it give a chance to put down the book. There’s a sense of originality and the writing style of the author is smooth and easy to accept. It is not overly flowery or too internationalized. I really appreciated this book a bit more than I generally would have because my recent experience with Indian Writing in English is hasn’t been so good. I have been spotting way too many IIT/IIM campus stories with magnified superficialness, cheap sex and shallow emotions for my taste. This was really a refreshing experience in terms of plot, characterization, story build up and language. Mr.Subhramanian, if you happen to stumble upon this review and read it, Thank You for restoring my hope in IWE. I now have an option to read a good Indian thriller.

Ravi Subramanian has indeed delivered one of the best Indian Thriller of recent times. I will be sure to pick up his other books and I recommend that you do too.

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1 comment:

  1. Well, i haven't read any English stories by Indian authors. Since I love thrillers and mysteries, this looks like my cup of tea.
    A very interesting combination of global conspiracy, and interesting mystery.
    ADDED to my TBR
    GREAT review, Debdatta
    Your constant reader,