by Ravi Subramanian
Like a lukewarm tomato soup dashed with pepper, ‘The Bankster’ runs down smoothly heating up the throat as it nears the climax. The thriller is as easily digestible as the popular soup , as slurpy and tangy. GB2- An MNC banks’ operations in India intertwined with events related to nuclear plant commission in Devikulam,Kerela forms the basic plot. Ravi Subramanian has prudently weaved the story, jumping between the situations at bank and at Devikulam. He has skillfully & credibly connected the recent controversy of Nuclear plant with fraudulent operations in a global bank.The revelation of the Bankster was the most satisfying part of the book for me.Keeping true to its genre it moves the reader into one direction presenting the corporate life in the Banking industry with snippets of events in Devikulam and captures the reader off-guard in the climax. If banking life fascinates you and you have a taste for thrillers, you can take up this book.
The book starts with background of two character – an illegal & covert broker of blood diamonds and a social activist.Then the different characters of the GB2 Bank are introduced presenting the melancholic & deceitful politics of Bankers.Right from the CEO of the Bank to the managers of Bandra branch are shown with their typical behavior toward each other and internal dynamics of the bank.The favorite executive of the CEO and his beloved HR plot to form a favorable hierarchy of their trusted sub-ordinates only to misuse them for personal benefits. There is acrimony between an experienced RM(relationship manager) and a new hot recruit RM, who enchants the customers & her seniors.The story keeps on jumping between the events at Devikulam – how the protest came into being, how they planned it and tried to rebuff the govt. stand.Half of the story,it unfolds like that, pacing steadily lifelessly.
The second half puts some spirit into the thriller when the murders portrayed as accidents starts occurring. The mind goes on connecting the facts & the disconnected incidents, trying to unravel the plot.But after going into 3/4th of the book, an ex-banker or investigative reporter puts the story on a high-speed train, figuring out the motives and truth behind all the deaths at the bank.This part is like ‘Sherlock Holmes’ movies, the investigation goes on proving the hypothesis with evidence coming out from under the carpets.And finally, the truth is reveled to everyone.Both the plots converge to present a big fraudulent scheme to stop commissioning of Nuclear Plant involving key position of the GB2 bank and blood diamonds.The story ends with the culprit embracing death and the resulting repercussions of the truth.
Reading this novel, confirmed to me that ‘Banking’ is really a boring trade and blase in taste.If people are enchanted by such stories of Bankers, in my opinion they require reality check. It’s same all where, even in govt. That’s why i was in a lull until the killing starts.Even to charge up the readers, the ex-banker was converted into a detective. It was this investigative character which made the book worth while reading.Though i will concur that i was confused till the last chapter about the culprit and the revelation surprised me.I never thought about that character.One more thing, what was the obsession with the Apple products most reader know how a touch screen works *duh*.In the last quarter of the story, it looked as if evidence were being created to support the hypothesis as in divine interventions.
For me it was not worthwhile to read it.It evoked nothing substantial in me.I think after reading ‘Red Jihad‘, i started expecting something new & exciting from Fictions.Though the simple creativity shown in weaving this story is truly commendable.As i said in the start, it was like a tomato soup for me – the popular choice of many but not mine.