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November 5, 2012

Book Review - 98 : The Bankster





Author : Ravi Subramanium
Publisher : Rupa Publications

My feedback for Ravi Subramanium fiction work has always been mixed, but this is no hidden fact that he knows his audience well enough and does not shy away from the fact that there are enough stories to be told within the banking sector, enough plot lines to be explored within the banking realms and yet not feel literally claustrophobic about the next piece of writing you are presenting to your readers.

The Bankster, Ravi's latest offering takes you through continents and runs into a multiple narrative structure. The scene of the story varies from Mumbai to the peaceful Cochin to the beautiful Vienna and the dusty Angola. From high corporate parties to large scale village protests, the author manages to capture all the flavors of Indian brains.

Bankers build their careers on trust, or so everyone thinks, till 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?

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 thirty-six hours at his disposal, he must fight the clock and trust no one if he is to stay alive and uncover the truth.

There is the usual workplace politics at play where salaries are increased at the click of the mouse to accommodate inflated egos and unconcealed greed and performance targets are achieved at the cost of betraying trust. Pacing has never been the problem with Ravi's books and even in this one, splattered with banking jargon and few grammatical errors, things moves at a frenetic pace. Karan's superhuman effort to solve the mystery on the basis of the clues takes a bit of improbable route but it neatly ties all the clues in the end. The portions of ipad and sync with other apple products requires some immediate editing in the next version, cutting down the material by good 20 odd pages. The ACP becoming DGP at around 150 page are just some of the editorial glitches and nitpicking i can think off.


I am going with 3/5 for Ravi Subramanium's latest offering, 'The Bankster'. If, like me, you have read most of the author's books, you will wonder where the graph of his writing is going. There may be enough stories to tell in the banking sector but shouldn't the legacy of the writer be to create different worlds? For the fans of Mr. Subramanium, they will not be a tad disappointed. It offers another competently written, racy mystery thriller waiting to be explored.

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