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Books – The Bankster by Ravi Subramanian

Banks, blood diamonds, murders, deceit, conspiracy, politics, investigations, and money. In short these eight words are the pillars to the story of the book titled The Bankster written by Ravi Subramanian.

Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) resembles one of the swanky banks that citizens of urban India choose to do business with. An institute with personnel strength running into thousands is well established by the author and has also been exploited well to nurture an intricate web of characters. An important part of the story is based on how various branches of these banks compete to get to the top of the charts within the organization; ways in which staff uses various tricks of the trade to meet their monthly sales targets; how politics and workplace are inseparable. 

Welcome to the world of Vikram, Tanuja, Indrani, Karan, Harshita, Zinaida, Raymond, Hemant, Nikhil, Anand, Malvika, and Jacqeline. Please note this is not an list of characters from the book. The names mentioned are characters based out of GB2. Moreover, the author tries to culminate various subplots involving money being laundered across international borders by miscreants and involvement of GB2 bank; murders of the staff members of the bank; investigations of those murders and, protests against commissioning of a nuclear power plant in Kerala.

The story is interesting on the whole, but the subplots and the treatment of the same might leave some readers mildly disappointed. Without divulging any spoilers, the climax fails to excite, because the revelations of the mystery stand on thin ice and barely manages to scrape through. The part of the book based in Vienna was a clear dismay with coincidences that are bound to make readers laugh, to say the least. The antagonist seems feeble and inept to execute the actions mentioned. At many places, it is difficult to identify with the characters and the sheer overwhelming number also result in some characters getting lost within the plot. Another peeve, is some small conversations between characters in Hindi, especially in the earlier chapters. Finally, unavoidable as it may be considering the nature of the plot, but heavy dependency on financial and technological jargon (which is explained to the best of author’s ability) might not go down well with some section of readers.

The author has managed to write a gripping page turner which ensures that the reader will not be stuck with the book for long. The style is pacy and fluid which makes this book a good read if you approach the book without any expectations. Chapters fly by in minutes and story moves ahead with every paragraph.

People associated with the banking world, might find the book a lot more approachable. Students from the field of management/ finance/ accounting/ will also find insightful nuggets spread across the 358 pages of the book. The book is quite intriguing in bits, although its far from being a great suspense thriller.

Ravi Subramanian is a gifted author and has some great stories to share, but, with this book, maybe he managed to bite off more than the readers could chew.

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