Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Bankster - A book review

The Bankster is the first book of Ravi Subramanian's that I have read. Despite the fact that I had not read the author before, I was quite thrilled to receive an autographed copy of the book.
The excerpt on blogadda sounded interesting and so, I decided to sign up to do a review. However, once I got the book, I somehow lost interest and didn't touch it for a few days. For some reason, I felt that it would not be interesting....and honestly, I am never a person to judge a book without reading at least a few pages first. Having signed up to do the review, I couldn't put the book away for too long.....and once I started reading, I realized just how wrong I had been about it. The fact that I finished reading the entire book in a night should tell you something about it.

Ravi Subramanian has been described by The Wall Street Journal as the John Grisham of banking, and the cover of the book does look quite Grisham-esque and maybe that's what made me postpone reading the book. Talk about judging a book by its cover!
The story starts in Angola and then moves on to Kerala, Mumbai and Vienna. In the beginning, it looks as if there are different stories being played out in the book, but towards the end, the author manages to bring it all together beautifully The characters are well etched.and the plot, interesting and taut.

Money laundering is a reality and something that we've all read about in the news papers for the last few years. The author, through this story, shows us how even innocent sounding NGOs and top bankers could fall prey to the desire to make a quick buck.

Indrani - the CEO of the bank, Vikram the ruthless go-getter who is constantly looking for new ways to make money, Raymond - the brainy but lonely chap from the Fraud department, Harshita - a hardworking sales person whose importance in the organization diminishes when a sexy siren who is not afraid of using her assets to her best advantage are characters that you will find echoes of in the people around you.

I liked the parts that happen in the Corporate office in Mumbai the best and the ones that happen in Kerala the least - because what happens in Mumbai is fast paced and keeps you wanting to read more. In fact, I impatiently turned over the pages to find the next chapter that told me more of the happenings in the Corporate office.

I guessed who the "villain" was - a few chapter down the line.....don't ask me how....I just did. The end is a little too dramatic and just a tad filmy - with all the figuring out happening in the board room. However, with the leaps and bounds in technology, it is not entirely unbelievable. There is huge Bollywood element though, in the way in which the "villain" is finally found. Can't help saying that and I hope I haven't given too much away and spoiled the punchline for other readers.
All in all, The Bankster is a good read - interesting and fast paced. It is published by Rupa Publications and retails for Rs 250.
This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at
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