The Bankster - Ravi Subramanian

Reviewed by Yatin, Blahblaholic and Swarnali

Publisher : Rupa Publications
ISBN : 978-81-291-2048-9
Genre : Thriller , Fiction

Price:  Rs 250

Find the author at :






~ Summary ~

Back Cover

In  Angola, a covert CIA agent is about to exchange weapons for blood diamonds.
In Kerala, an elderly man will do whatever it takes to fulfill a promise made to a dying son.
In Mumbai, an international bank is stunned by the mysterious deaths of its key employees.

It begins in Angola, as a man exchanges weapons for the infamous blood diamonds of Africa.
In Kerala, the head of a family is accused of a crime he says he didn't commit.
And in Mumbai, the GB2 Bank are losing their key employees in a row ..

~  Excerpt ~

"Why blame him? You are allowing yourself to be used. While I have nothing against the protest and I am with you in this cause, you got carried away by the fact that this was making you famous in your neighborhood. "

~  Blahblaholic's Review ~

This is one of those books that you just CAN NOT put down once you start reading it!
There are three parallel plots running together, as you read each chapter, your mind darts from here to there and back again.
It is a legit page turner, which keeps you hooked.
The background is banking but the author here, manages to not use terms which would completely confuse and put a reader off. All the banking terms used are explained, and not in dumbed down, just-so-you-understand-way.

Along the story, you feel bad about Arvind and Laila, and more so, with Arvind's father Krishna.
You realize how cosmetic appearances go a LONG way, and not always for the good. You read about the insecurity and I could actually see it playing in my head as Harshita started to fall apart.

Wherever you go, from banks to corporate offices, there always are these basic problems that arise, and they will continue to arise, because yes, we have computers, and yes, we have brilliant advanced technology, but a human operates them at the end of the day.
Greed, lust, thirst for power, jealously, betrayal .. These are but basic human emotions!

When I read the withdrawal email (page 128) , I felt so bad for him.
It reminded me of those times when I was forced to apologize, when you're not really at fault, but you just HAVE to, and it is embarrassing and humiliating, but one's gotta do what one's gotta do eh?

There are moments when you are insulted, and then there are moments when you are just numb as you realize all you ever were, is a pawn. You try and plan this mega move, but you fail, miserably, and the way the author has depicted all of this, including the wife's dialogues as she tries to console and talk to her husband, I found it very realistic and beautiful.

One of the parts I liked the best, were related to the post mortem and the tides thing. It was right there in front of everyone, but they couldn't guess it. It was very probable, and it reminded me of Hermione in DH as she said that she wasn't super intelligent, just really precise and perspective.

Not for a moment during reading of the book can you guess the ending, as i starts falling apart piece by piece, I went all, "Really?! I never would have guessed that!"
Quite honestly, the culprits were a shock to me! One of them, I detested since the start, but the way they conducted it, it was quite an interesting read!
The best part about this book is that it isn't drab for a moment, there are so many things happening simultaneously that will scream for your attention.

~ Final Verdict ~

It is an exceptionally well woven book,
Because once you start reading this book, these 358 pages will literally fly by!

  Yatin Says :

Long back, when I was studying, I borrowed this book from a friend, "If God Was A Banker", the title was intriguing and my friend was praising the book too much, so I picked it up. Absolutely loved the book, recommended it as well to a lot of people. Post that, I never really kept a track of Ravi Subramanian's books, in fact, to be honest, I had no clue that the Ravi Subramanian who started following me on twitter around a month back is an author, till I checked his bio.

I never really thought in my wildest dreams that I would actually get to meet Ravi, he was in Delhi recently and I got to meet him as well, my first one on one meet up with any author and he gave me a signed copy of his latest book that has got released on 19th October. Here is the pic of it, just to make reader of this post a bit jealous ! :P 

Enough anecdotes now, lets get to The Bankster now. Honestly, there are very few thrillers that I have read in which you are not able to spot who is the real culprit, the same is the case with The Bankster. An absolute page turner, spread over 358 pages, 47 chapters, that would definitely make you bite your nails. I started reading it last night after meeting the author who has just been awarded with a popular choice award for his previous book "The Incredible Banker". 

The book opens with a man who lands up at Angola. There he strikes a deal in which he exchanges weapons for the world famous blood diamonds of Africa. Then the plot shifts to a family in Kerala, the head of the family accused for a crime that he hasn't committed. The person is concerned about a social cause and with all his honesty and sincerity he is backing up the cause till some opportunists get involved with the whole thing and things take an ugly turn. A parallel plot runs in Mumbai at the GB2 bank, where their key employees get murdered one after the another, but every murder was presented as if those people have died in accidents and a suicide in one case. 

I could hardly relate all these parallel plots, but the way they have been weaved together as the book progresses turned out to be complete shocker for me. The Bankster has definitely got all the elements of a best seller for sure and I would not be surprised if we get to see it in the best sellers list in the next coming weeks. The author knows how to keep the reader on his toes till the end and everyone who has read any of Ravi Subramanian's books knows about his writing style. There is too much of banking involved, but it never creates any headache for the reader. The language is simple and you don't need to refer to dictionary as well ! :D 

I am now looking forward to read "The Incredible Banker" as well and I think I am also gonna pick the rest of the books written by him pretty soon and for you who has read this post, go pick up the book. You would thoroughly enjoy it ! :) 

Swarnali Speaks : 

This is one book I heard a lot about ever since it was on the stands and I had almost planned to buy it when I saw it on Blogadda's review programs. 220 copies for the much awaited The Bankster were available and I'm pretty sure almost everyone who had applied for the book must have received a copy. :P

The book is worth the wait and is a complete page turner. What I loved best about the book is the fact that the author has done a brilliant job in withholding the suspense till the very last. There are moments when you think you've got the whole thing figured in your head but then a totally unexpected twist to the tale makes you realise that you've been digging in all the wrong places till now. The end is completely unpredictable. The entire book can be summed up as a jigsaw puzzle with all small pieces scattered here and there and you cannot make out which piece fits where until the author takes you by the hand and connects the dots and you are left with a sense of awe.

The author efficiently uses his banking background to his advantage in the setting of the book. The language is pretty simple but the book does contain a few banking jargon spluttered here and there but that doesn't act as a hindrance to the reading process. The book begins in Angola’s alluvial diamond mines and then the scenes keep seamlessly shifting from there to Devikulam in Kerala to Mumbai and to Vienna. I loved the wonderfully detailed descriptions of the setting which made the whole reading process feel like a movie watching experience. Despite the skips from one location to another, the reader does not feel a sense of fragmentation which is a big plus point for the book. The first few pages are a tad bit slow as the settings and characters are slowly established. I was in fact pretty puzzled trying to figure exactly what was happening and how all these different incidents happening at seemingly unrelated places relate to the main plot that is the deaths of the employees at the bank as mentioned in the blurb at the back. The protagonist of the book, Karan Panjabi arrives pretty late in the book and has a very casual entry and all of a sudden the book begins to move at a neck breaking speed.

The book was a pleasant read apart from a few minor issues here and there. There are a few typographical errors which were missed during the proof reading process. Another problem I found was with the usage of a few Hindi terms in the dialogues and a few direct and literal translations of Hindi terms and phrases into English. The use of colloquial language does make the story feel more believable and real but it obstructs the complete understanding of the connotations for a non-Hindi understanding reader.

I would definitely recommend the book to all readers who love fast moving thriller plots.
 Swarnali's Rating : 4/5


  1. Its good to see some really nice thriller coming from Indian authors !

    liked this one !
    Waiting to get it from you :D

  2. okay!! I'm reading this book!!!

    I would've bought it myself but since BookAdda is already sending one to me. I'm just wondering what you'd do, since you're getting another one as well.. hahahahaha

    This looks good.. waiting to read it.

  3. Thanks FL and Nimue.

    Trust me this is happening with me for the Nth time. I either buy a book or publishers send me, or blogadda and I end up having multiple copies of the book and I give them away to people who wish to read them ! :P

  4. oooh, ur so lucky,yatin! i love it that u included a picture of the signed copy. i am curious now; will read this if i can. :)

  5. Am getting this book from Blogadda too!! :P And am so envious that you got an author signed copy!! Lucky You!!
    Coming to your review,I loved dying to get my hands on it... :)

  6. Read it guys. Its a good book ! :)


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