Friday, November 9, 2012

Book review: The Bankster

The Bankster

Many a times there are plots you are too skeptical about but anyways pick up to read and be bowled over by them. 'The Bankster' by Ravi Subramanian was one of such pleasant surprises for me. This suspense thriller literally made me skip my sleep and bath over it ( although I didn't compromise on the food!). The gripping story was a breezy read and one that you couldn't part with half-read.

As is expected out of a veteran from financial service industry, Ravi has his story centered around a bank,Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) the money laundering (converting black money into white which has 3 steps: placement (entry), layering(moving away from source of black money) and integration (using black money as white money for funds)). The story is woven around the bank officials and is slowly grown to encompass matters of global significance such as arms dealing, blood-diamond smuggling, money laundering and protests against the opening of a nuclear power plant. Many covert agents working undercover are responsible for a few bank officials' murders and for the clandestine transactions of hundreds of crores of money. On one such murder of his bank friend Raymond, Karan Punjabi an ex-employee of GB2 turned journalist senses something fishy and delves into solving the mystery. He does that from a boardroom (if we accept hollywood and bollywood-ish unconvincing stints and alien intelligence of heroes, this farfetched novel hero is very close to reality).

Ravi has included a good number of cities in the plot and convincingly justified their roles and descriptions. The writing style is typical to any thriller, alternating between various scenarios and people. The suspense is well kept and the story has a grip over readers in that it reveals every secret in bits and pieces throughout the narration and fully only at the end of the novel. Neither of the twists are predictable and the hype for the end revelation is just nail biting. One feature of the book that got hooked me to it was the Indianised English used for narration interspersed with casual Hindi lines and words. Apart from a few minor grammatical mistakes (which I feel Indian publishing houses should pay more attention to) this book is a good package. The 358 page book has done enough justice to the plot and I feel if it were stretched beyond this, the intrigue would be diluted somewhere.

The drawback of the book is detailed description of office politics. When the author has touched upon as serious an issue as diamond and arms smuggling, there should be more intelligent narration of incidents centered about the mafia responsible for it. While there are many important characters to be described in the plot, other minor characters and stories sometimes win an unfair elaborate description. Another minor fault is that no character is central to the plot. The importance often keeps shifting preferences. Once it is on the social worker and then on three bank managers who play the lead role. A sensual junior worker who occupies much space and imagination of the novel is at the end a small link in a big chain.

More about the author and his other works: here.

Thank you blogadda for the free signed copy.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at . Participate now to get free books!

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