Meet the John Grisham of Banking – says the Wall Street Journal about Ravi Subramanian, who is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and has been in the banking career for 18years working for various multinational banks. Its only obvious that the author has impeccable knowledge in his sector that he could weave a fast paced suspense thriller involving banking – a complex one at that.
Having neither read any banking based books nor any of the other books from the author, the first thing I did was to read the blurb at the back cover which goes as –
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? Is the banker at GB2 fast turning into a bankster?
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.
Needless to say, I was more than intrigued that I started reading the book immediately. Something about it made it a very interesting read right from page one. The story happens in three parts of the world. In Angola – A covert CIA Agent is about to exchange weapons for blood diamonds. In Kerala – An elderly man will do whatever it takes to fulfill a promise made to his dying son. In Mumbai – An International bank is stunned by the mysterious deaths of his key employees.
The story begins in Angola when Joseph Braganza lands himself up on the restricted and extremely unsafe alluvial diamond mines, in quest of blood diamonds in exchange for some weapons which gain him millions in USD. While we wonder what this is about, the author takes us to the life of Krishna Menon who runs his resort in a calm, serene little town in Kerala – Devikulam. What interested me the most was the part of the story that happens in Mumbai, at various branches of Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2). My initial thought was that its like any multinational corporate office, where cheap office politics and manipulations happen and I could instantly relate to it having coming from the same background. Vikram Bahl- Head of Retail Marketing, Tanuja – Head of HR, Nikhil- Bandra Branch Manger, Indrani – CEO bring in a lot of drama. But when one after another, three important employees from GB2 suffer an unnatural death – the book just becomes unputdownable. It really is a page turner, a suspense thriller in true sense.
The way the stories from Angola and Devikulam get intertwined with the GB2 Mumbai plot makes it all the more interesting. The simple language and crisp-short chapters with free flow of sentences only got me hooked on to the book. The suspense is carried on almost until the final chapter – just the way I would love any thriller novel to be. Over the course of my reading, I kept guessing the culprit behind the mysteries of GB2. I was more than intrigued to know the master mind behind everything in the story so much so that I even felt like jumping pages – now that’s how the suspense part is carried so well in the book. The climax was one of the least expected and the logic being put behind the linkages of the three stories and finding ‘The Bankster’ was so good that it made reading the book, so worthwhile.
If there is anything that I would complain, it would only be how the colloquial language has been translated to English as-is at certain places. Swearing words seemed to be a part of almost every other dialogue that happened between anyone at GB2 and I kept wondering why?!
If I would recommend this book to anyone – Yes, I definitely would. It made me see the banking industry in a completely different light and the fact that it was suspense thriller made it even interesting. I am definitely going back to the other books from this brilliant author.
P.S – Many many thanks to Bloagadda for this excellent opportunity! Though it was hard for me to find enough time to put up the review, I enjoyed doing it.