The Bankster By Ravi Subramanian-A Review

Intricate detailing is what makes a thriller what it is. The Bankster is beyond the usual suspense thriller. Veering with multiple scenarios playing at our simultaneously, it makes for a fabulous read, especially in India’s emerging culture which is exponentially rising into the corporate lifestyle. The subtle, yet commonly gossiped about fact that powerful corporate houses run the nation is well weaved into the plot as Mr. Subramanian takes you on a simple, yet enthralling ride
This 358 paged novel is Ravi’s fifth novel with the banking world as its set (however, I confess to not having read the other four before). But, with all honesty, I regret not having read them as this book was simply wonderful. Dealing with three different parallels at the same time, Subramanian slowly unravels a web of mystery linking a covert CIA agent, an anti-nuclear power plant protest in India and a series of death of a certain bank’s employees. Most authors writing thrillers fail to clearly link these sets in a convincing manner, often disappointing readers. However, The Bankster pretty much clearly exhibits the links and demonstrates their entanglement.

The nucleus of this book is its radical, coherent yet brutally simple analogy to different current situations. Ravi brilliantly has drawn some of the world’s most familiar happenings into an elaborate piece of fiction to expound some thoughts which gets you thinking. The familiarity between the Kundankulam nuclear power plant protests and the fictitious protests in the book is point blank and obvious but does explore a delicate side of the world of International relations by sly hints. Also, by dumbing down complex banking strategies and terms, Ravi has eased the burden on a common reader. This is a problem rarely addressed by authors and often becomes a stigma. I quote one of my friends who supposedly read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code with one eye on the book and the other on the Google search results of the various terms thrown at her. At face value, The Bankster is both easy on your mind as well as Internet bills.

Moving on to the book’s Achilles’ heel, we arrive at something which is debatable Although the book slowly lays out the detailed plot and the mystery breaks free perfectly with logical arguments, the method, to me was a bit unrealistic. To me, a media personnel deciphering extravagant clues and connecting the dots, that too within a fixed time period of 48 hours is a bit tough to accept. Although Ravi seeks to augment this fact by detailing Karan (the media guy)’s character with investigative training and a natural flair for deciphering cases, it still remains tough to accept. Another counter to this can be Karan’s support team consisting of some trusted colleagues and his girlfriend, I would like to iterate that their contribution pales in comparison to Karan’s as he clearly steals the limelight.

Overall, this book is a masterpiece and simply un-putdown-able. Ravi draws you into the world of GB2 and controls your emotions like a puppet master. When I picked up the book, the first thing that leaped out was a line out of the Wall Street Journal saying “Meet the John Grisham of banking”. Suffice to say, I second it.

The Standing Coin Rating: 7.5/10

Like: Easy to read, Draws the reader’s attention into a detailed world, Radical new theories

Dislike: Single character essaying the role of a super intelligent hero comes across as unrealistic

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  1. Surya Teja TadigadapaNovember 2, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    You should read "If god was a banker", its brilliant. "The incredible banker" is also good but "Devil in pinstripes" was a little boring.
    Talking of thrillers have you read "Cold Steel"? It is undoubtedly the best thriller bro!

  2. Seems interesting.
    Belongs to the kind of stories that I love. Would be checking it out soon.
    Good review. :)

  3. very nice review, Siddharth. Something on Da Vinci Code: I didn't read this novel at first because I thought I am an alien to Christianity, will not understand a bit. Then, on recommendation of one of my friends, I read this book and was completely swept off my feet. This guy has explained each and every term, each and every symbol painstakingly in so much detail that he puts the reader immediately at ease. you flow with the narrative, don't get dragged! Yes, you do hit google search but not because you don't understand terms, but you get so much intrigued by places, historical references and facts that you want to explore them beyond the book! I searched a lot about Christianity, Jews, Muslims and crusades after reading this books.

  4. Thanks Surya! Will read "Cold Steel" soon!

  5. Thanks Vinay! Ravi has written some other books along the same lines also. You could check them out too!

  6. Thanks Meenakshi! I'm glad you experienced and read the Da Vinci Code the same way I did. Actually one of my friends who read the book on my insistence told me that she had to use Google while reading the Da Vinci Code


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