The Bankster

Title: The BanksterThe Bankster
Author: Ravi Subramanian
Publisher: Rupa Publications
ISBN: 978-81-291-2048-9
Number of Pages: 358
Price [INR] : 250
Genre: Fiction

Synopsis : Three different plots intertwined with the strange happenings in the life of a set of Retail Bankers in Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) bring up the initial part of the story. The uneasy calm in GB2 is shattered when a series of murders rock the facade 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.
In the racy build up to unravelling of the ‘who-done-it’ plot, 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?

Review : The author, Ravi Subramanian has two decades of work experience in financial services industry. He is the author of If God was a Banker, Devil in Pinstripes, The Incredible Banker, The Bankster is his fourth fiction. 

While, I have heard a lot about If God was a Banker, The Bankster is the first book that I have read of the author. The cover page has a quote from The Wall Street Journal which says, β€œMeet the John Grisham of banking’. Now, I am a huge fan of John Grisham who is a lawyer and is known for his legal thrillers. When Ravi is called the John Grisham of banking, the expectations are immense.

So with expectations in place, I started reading this book. There are 3 stories running in parallel. They are set in Kerala, Mumbai and Angola to start with. I liked reading the Mumbai story which is about GB2. The Kerala and Angola stories, though are an integral part of the story are smaller stories and appear at irregular intervals in the book. The best is that all the 3 are so different that is impossible to believe that they have a common link. And this unpredictability, which is one of the key ingredients of a thriller, is what keeps you glued to The Bankster.

The Bankster is an absolute page turner with a wonderfully engaging characters and an impeccable narration. The climax is so gripping and has nail-biting twists and turns that despite an emergency, it was tough for me to separate myself from the book.

The language is simple and the banking systems and processes are easy to comprehend for even a non-banking person.

Mild Dampeners: The Kerala story starts with a case of smuggling of an elephant’s tusks, but the next part of this story starts with Nuclear Power Plant issues, which confused a bit and had to refer the back pages again to understand the characters.

The press reporter who is assigned to dig deeper into the scam is assisted by a lady. The duo have 36 hours to find out all about the global conspiracy. They are looking hard at pictures, searching mails, scanning the banking data, looking for clues and suddenly the two are shown to have some frivolous exchange, which sounds very artificial and is totally unnecessary in an otherwise gripping saga.

Overall, The Bankster is simply an entertaining, enlightening and an unputdownable thriller. Go for it!

Rating : 4.5/5 

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