The Bankster is a thriller written by Ravi Subramanian. I hadn’t read any of his earlier works so I started with a blank slate.
If I have to write a one-word review for the book that would be “Brilliant!”. I just loved reading the book and what’s more interesting is that immediately after I put down the book I was on the net researching the facts. The story just stayed on for a while even after I had finished reading the book. At times the scenes sounded very Bollywoodish but which Indian doesn’t love Bollywood drama.
Though the title sounds like a piece of fiction on the banking industry, it involves much more than that. The author narrates three stories in the book.
1. First about a CIA agent involved in a weapons deal in exchange for blood diamonds in Angola.
2. A man from Kerala, who wants to seek justice for people in his region, as per the promise made to his dying son years ago.
3. An International retail bank in Mumbai, some of whose employees are found dead mysteriously.
Then he finally strings the three stories together to connect the dots and create a masterpiece of a story. What I found interesting is the International angle to the story. Stringing all the incidents together as a part of a global conspiracy involving the likes of the CIA, crime syndicate, resource-rich, war-stricken nations and the major World Powers. It is nice to see an Indian author weave a story involving the Cold war, the Chernobyl disaster, the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the proxy wars in Africa.
Like they say in Hindi “Haathi ke daant khane ke alag, dikhane ke alag”, the face put up by nations and their actions are quite different from their behind-the-screens behaviour. The power politics played by the big nations and the covert operations of the likes of CIA isn’t a new topic and quite a few Hollywood movies have successfully used this to make hit movies. The use of arms trade to further foreign policy objectives is quite obvious in the middle-east and Africa but does it happen even in India? Or may be it happens in a slightly different form here. God only knows or may be some closer to God would also know. The fact the author talks about some very recent happenings in our country makes you wonder which part of the book is fiction and which is a fact.
The book spans across finance, World-politics, corporate-politics, romance, crime and mystery. The author has dealt with some very current and relevant topics like money laundering, foreign-funded NGOs mis-using the funds and very cleverly stayed clear of the religious angle of it.
Only the plot is predictable at times and I would have liked it if the author elaborated more on the promise made by the old man to his son. Since the author is claiming ‘the promise’ to be the main motive behind all the old man’s actions. The pace is quite decent and the book is a great read. Especially if you are into banking, thrillers or politics. Pick it up from the nearest book store as soon as you can 🙂
Book: The Bankster
Author: Ravi Subramanian
Pages: 364 pages
Cost: Rs.250 (Mine was free from Blog adda and author signed too 😀 )
Publisher: Rupa Publications (2012)
The Wall Street Journal has rightly called Ravi Subramanian ‘The John Grisham of Banking’. Next, I will pick up other books of his that I haven’t read.