This review was originally written on my first and only blog "Clandestine Rendezvous" as a part of the BlogAdda book review program. But due to some personal reasons I have shut down the blog. Hence, this review has been taken down from there and put up here.
AUTHOR: Ravi Subramanian
FIRST PUBLISHED: 2012
ISBN: 978-81-291-2048-9GENRE: Fiction, Financial Crime
Bankers build their careers on trust, or so everyone thinks, till a series of murders threatens to destroy the reputation that Greater Boston Global Bank 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?
This is the very first time I'm reading the author and I agree with The Wall Street Journal that rightly calls him the John Grisham of Banking. Winner of the Golden Quill’s Readers Awards he’s none other than Ravi Subramanian and he is back with another crime thriller.
The backdrop is again a banking environment for which the author is famous for, but what sets this novel apart is the concept of two parallel series going along with the main plot. The prelude begins in Angola where a secret CIA agent Joseph Braganza plans to exchange military weapons for uncut blood diamonds. Following this the plot suddenly changes and you land in an entirely different setting. Devikulam, Kerala where an old man fights for justice with his wife and son; with an added twist of a nuclear attack some years later that is somehow all interlinked.
The story sets in almost more than a decade later in the Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) opening with Vikram Bhal the flamboyant and shrewd Head of Retail Banking GB2 and Tanuja, the Head HR in a conversation. As the story progresses you realize Vikram is not only cunning but also dual and manipulative in every sense and Tanuja isn’t far behind. The plot focuses on the Bandra branch of the bank where everything is not as it seems and no one can trust another; double crosses, deceit and looks rule. Apart from the little issues and corruption life at the bank is pretty normal until accidents and suicides of employees start happening all of a sudden. What seem as regular deaths all happening at once due to some personal reason or external affairs are coined as murders by an ex-employee. Karan Punjabi a financial editor at the Times of India and an ex-employee of the GB2 firmly believes there is a much greater mystery behind the sudden deaths of the employees. Also they all are linked to Bandra branch one way of the other and thus starts the journey of unraveling the mystery with the help of the CEO.
The plot keeps on shifting to Devikulam, Kerala where the old man fights the government to be transparent about the nuclear power plant project in the vicinity and back to GB2 Mumbai. At times it gets difficult to relate where all this is heading. Personally, I had to leaf backward through pages to read about a certain character again. At that point, there is loss of focus and one keeps on thinking how all of this is interconnected, as there are no interconnections but the story just moves along in a parallel fashion.
The good thing is that at the end all the queries, the parallel story backdrop all is answered and there is no loose string which one can question. Another strong point of the novel is the writer’s ability to maintain the mystery till the very end. The climax keeps you on your toes and you yourself get involved.
For people who love corporate thrillers and even for those like me who have recently started liking thriller, this is a must read. The Bankster is not only well researched and presented but also incorporates the conventional corporate lifestyle.
I enjoyed reading it and I hope you too will love it. The 358 pages don’t look much once you begin reading; at least I read the book in one go.
Happy Reading Folks !
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