Having read all of Ravi Subramanian’s financial crime thrillers, both as a reader and a reviewer he remains one of my favourite Indian writers. So I was waiting eagerly for ‘The Bankster’ and the title name itself was quiet catchy. As soon as it hit the stores, I caught hold of a copy. Did the bankster manage to live up to my expectations? Here is my performance appraisal of Ravi Subramanian’s latest thriller. Read on.
If you have read all his four books, you might find it getting bit monotonous and bit predictive in certain areas but he nevertheless has a knack to deftly navigate into the murky waters of banking world clouded by scams and fuelled by ambitions, greed and power struggle. Being a banker himself, helps Ravi and thus If God was a Banker, Devil in PinStripes and Incredible Banker went on to be a best seller. While in the first two books, Ravi confined himself to the push and pulls within the Banking world, in Incredible Banker he came out of the banking closet and touched upon the terror funding through misuse of banking system. While reading Incredible Banker, I felt the author was bit apprehensive and it reflected in the writing style probably because Ravi was delving into broader areas of crime involving Naxalism. In The Bankster there is more maturity and confidence in handling a bigger stage of global conspiracy and crime.
His latest novel, The Bankster still has his banking DNA intact but it also marks a more articulate waddling into serious crime thriller by the author. He connects three dots – different characters and events and converge them into a nail-biting saga that is worth all the time you pour into the book.
So the bank in picture is the familiar Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2), which Ravi fictionalized in his previous book Incredible Banker. So if you have read the IB, you would be familiar with Karan Panjabi, the banker turned financial journalist who also plays the key role in this book too. The plot begins in the African country of Angola and with Joseph Bragnanza, a CIA covert agent involved in blood diamonds and arms dealing. From there it switches to a small town in Kerala, Devikullam and a 75-year-old man fighting the government in Gandhian way for clarity in the nuclear program being commissioned in his area and then we have our GB2 where the banking rigour, manipulations and power struggle brings out the various shades of the bankers. The storyline wades us alternatively through the three dots spanning continents, various characters and finally how all the streams converges into a murkier plot that also sniffs out three banker’s life during the course.
What could be the connecting point of an international CIA agent and events happening in Kerala and the tragic deaths of Greater Boston Global bank employees? There is a global conspiracy to undermine the nation’s growth and how does it get muddier in cognisance with certain bankers? How the financial crime gets unravelled and does it shake the foundation of the multinational bank? It’s for you to read and trust me Ravi keeps you glued to the pages till the end and makes a compelling read on one go.
The Bankster for me is a more accomplished work of the author so far wherein he exudes more confidence and control over the plot and the course of it. Do grab a copy if you are a fan of crime thrillers, The Bankster is sure to cast his tight grip on you.