Saturday, November 10, 2012

Banking With The Bankster

"Meet the John Grisham of banking" - says the cover of this 364 Pages novel by Ravi Subramanian. I had heard of his books before, but this was the first time I was going to read any of them.

Ravi Subramanium is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and works as a banker and financial service professional. He pursues his hobby of writing in his free time. He has four other best selling novels to his credit - If God was a Banker (2007), I Bought the Monks Ferrari (2007), Devil in Pinstripes (2009) and The Incredible Banker (2011).

Like his other books, The Bankster too is based on the backdrop of the global banking world. This can be attributed to the fact that the author has a wide experience as a banker, and thus writing a story on this premise comes naturally to him.

The cover of the book is quite fascinating, as it portrays a dark silhouette with a gun in one hand and a briefcase in the other, standing on the rooftop of a high rise building. Will this be a crime thriller? Yes. In fact  the Wall Street Journal compares Ravi to John Grisham. That's a big compliment indeed, considering the iconic image the latter has created in the literary world.

The name of the book is quite appealing. The word Bankster can be thought of as a combination of two words - Banker and Fraudster/Gangster. True to its name, the story revolves around fraud, lies, deceit and treachery in an International Bank, the Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2). The operation of the bank runs smoothly until a string of murders put the reputation of the bank at stake. Who is behind the murders, no body knows. The motive is unknown. It's then that Karan Panjabi, a press reporter and ex-banker of GB2 comes into the play to unravel the sinister mystery. However, as the picture starts getting clearer, he realizes that this is a global conspiracy that can have far reaching impacts if not controlled properly. With less than two days at his disposal, he gets into the task of solving this puzzle and bringing the bank out of this web. Whether he succeeds, and how, forms the crux of this novel.

Being a big fan of thrillers, I turned the pages in anticipation, with bated breath and muted expressions. The story travels through various continents, sailing from one country to another. Actions take place in Angola, Vienna, Kerala and Mumbai, each of them connected with a fine thread. The banking jargon has been used appropriately, displaying the vast expertise of the author in this field. How people try to achieve their means through dirty politics is also shown in the manner as it happens in the real world.

The story is fast paced, and that's what keeps the interest alive. The interactions between the characters, and the dialogues, sound real. They speak in the way normal people do, with their friends, colleagues and acquaintances. The plot is well woven, with the epilogue summing up and concluding the story in a neat fashion. The twist at the end was brilliantly conceived.

There are too many characters in the story, and probably that's a weak point in the layout, 'cause the characterization is weak with not much emphasis on their backgrounds. The characters jump into the story here and now, without providing a clue about their past and their nature. Whatever we get to know about them is through their present activities in the events that take place in the book.

The story flows more like a movie script, and less like a novel. True, this isn't a classic, and we shouldn't compare it with one that provides solace to the eyes that seek literary treat; however, having said that, the story telling could have been a bit better, with more attention paid to the development of the plot. Though I enjoyed the read, I couldn't find a single WOW moment in this novel.

I would surely recommend it for a light reading. Do not compare it with other thrillers that you have adored in the past, and you won't be disappointed.

Title: The Bankster
Author: Ravi Subramanian
Binding: Paperback
Publishing Year: 2012
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Categories: Urban Life, Suspense, Thriller, Crime
Number Of Pages: 364
Language: English
My Rating: 3/5

Thank You Blog Adda for providing me with the wonderful opportunity to review this book.

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


  1. reading your thoughts on it makes me want to have the book in my hands as soon as I can :)

    1. You should try reading this ... it's good :-)

  2. I have ready a couple of reviews of this book before this one. This is the best so far! simple, to the point, and introducing the story in a neat style.

    Good job!

    1. Thanks Meenakshi. This is the first time I reviewed a book, and am so glad you liked it :-)

  3. I too have read 3 before yours & yours was simply terrific. True to every word you wrote much like an expert critic & reviewer. Greeny you must write more reviews I would love to read them, you have an innate capability to make a review blissful :D Thanks, take care!

    1. Thanks for reviewing my review so warmly :-) Sure, I would love to write more reviews, as soon as your stories get out in the market :-)

    2. Haha a very witty reply indeed. Sorry! But maybe your wish won't come true... lol! hanks buddy :) Take care!