Book Review: The Bankster

Book: The Bankster

Author: Ravi Subramanian

Number of pages: 358

Price: Rs. 250

The Bankster

The Bankster by Ravi Subramanian is a racy read. It provides you with a bird’s eye view of the retail banking sector and how it operates. Three intricately-linked plots culminate into a shocking revelation. A covert CIA agent who facilitates the exchange of weapons, an elderly man who will go to any length to fulfill a promise he had made to his dying son and an international bank, whose key employees mysteriously die.

The book opens in Angola, moves to India, namely interior Kerala and Bombay, makes a sojourn in Europe and returns to Bombay and occasionally Kerala.  It Is fast-paced, racy and difficult to put down. The author jumps between the three narratives but lays more emphasis on the happenings in the bank. And upon reading closely, you will realize that he slips in a few specific details, very crucial to the plot. Keep those in mind and you’ll have solved the mystery.  The characters come and go, without much ceremony or introduction, adding to the mystery of who is the real mastermind or the villain.

A few chapters into the book and you begin to understand its predictability. But that didn’t stop me from wanting to know what transpires further and how the exactly the plot moves along.

Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) is losing its key employees and it’s taking place in a pattern.  But its senior management isn’t particularly perturbed because targets and goals are being met. It reveals the inhumane side of the banking industry where only the balance-sheet matters and customer trust goes out of the window. There is the usual workplace politics at play but its blatant portrayal left me shocked for a bit. Where salaries are increased at the click of the mouse to accommodate inflated egos and unconcealed greed and performance targets are achieved at the cost of betraying trust.

It is largely a convincible and realistic plot, but I felt that Karan Punjabi’s, press reporter and ex-banker, entry was a bit out of place. I was a little taken aback to read how the CEO places immense trust in him to uncover the conspiracy. Perhaps, there is something to be said for going along with one’s instincts but I was unconvinced. But that is a minor disagreement with the author. Once Punjabi takes over, the plot just gets more scintillating. One by one, the pieces begin to fall in place. And it begins to make sense as to why Subramanian inserted a few minor details and some juicy trivia every now and then.

I enjoyed reading The Bankster. It provided me with a glimpse of the big bad banking industry, that side of our egos, which we hate to confront or acknowledge, and a general insight into the slime that accompanies most corporate relationships. Where every word is uttered with a larger agenda in mind and trust is only a word.

The Bankster was one book I wasn’t very looking forward to writing a review for; mainly because I really enjoyed reading and didn’t want to pick it apart. It has all the makings of a Bollywood film: Exotic locales, the dark side of human nature and plenty of drama. There are egos to be placated, individuals to be wooed and a mystery waiting to be solved. Yes, I mentioned a predictable plot. But I’m not really complaining about that. The characters are richly drawn. The plot is detailed. And it keeps me engaged.

So thank you, Mr. Subramanian and for the autographed copy. I really enjoyed the read and the accompanying adrenaline rush.

Rating: 4/5

Learn more about Ravi Subramanian and his books.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!



  1. Pingback: Book Review: The Bankster (2012) | Ravi Subramanian | Pins N Ashes
  2. Pingback: Blogadda Book Review: The Bankster (2012) | Ravi Subramanian | Vaayadi Pennu;)
  3. Pingback: Book Review: God is a Gamer | c r i m s o n s h a d o w s

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s