First Release: October 2012
Publisher: Rupa Publications
I was not sure what to expect out of this book when I requested a review copy, but few good reviews and ratings in goodreads made me curious about this book. And I should say that it was a good decision indeed. The Bankster is essentially a financial thriller dealing with shady businesses in the financial world like money laundering, blood diamond trade etc.
Greater Boston Global Bank( GB2) has a strong network of branches in India with efficient employees. Things are running well for the bank until few of its key employees end up dead in questionable circumstances.
Meanwhile Krishna Menon, a native of Devikulam in Kerala is getting ready for a massive protest rally against the Trikakulam Nuclear Power Plant ( Does the name remind you of Kodankulam Nuclear Plant ?). His protestations weren’t much effective until he gets the support of Mr. Jayakumar who is backed by a NGO for environmental protection. Things are fine until the rally during which things go wrong. What should Krishna Menon do? Will he have to make compromises on the ideologies he was following for the greater good of the people around him? Should he worry about the means when the end is achieved?
This was indeed a good thriller, much better than my expectations. There were a lot of characters thrown in the book, but the major theme of the story is connected to the GB2, which is the reason why this book is mentioned as a financial thriller.
I had consoled myself to the fact that there is no protagonist in the story, when midway through the story Karan Punjabi enters the storyline as a journalist and an ex-banker; which end up looking like that the author suddenly decided to make a Karan Punjabi series out of this book though he was reluctant to rewrite the first half of the story. Karan Punjabi takes up the responsibility of finding the truth behind the murders, but I should say that it was too late for a protagonist and his character didn’t look much effective.
The story was mostly driven by the characters which stood out in the first half – Zinainda, Harshita, Raymond, Tanuja and Vikram and the readers are sucked into the web of murder, money, lust etc.
Towards the end of the story the reader gets some idea as to what is happening, but then like most thrillers the reader cannot go ahead and guess who is the actual culprit since important evidences would be revealed only in the last chapter. It is more of a guessing game as even the seemly innocent character could end up becoming the villain of the story. Isn’t that the essence of a thriller?
The Bankster was a welcome change from the train of novels published every other day in India. And something I liked about the author was he has written the book in a very professional way, just the way thrillers are written across the world. Since this was my first book by Ravi Subramanian, the story line looked interesting and I have read very little fiction related to the financial sector. I do intend to read the next book he writes.
Verdict: This book is indeed a thriller…Pick it up if you like them :)