Posted in Book reviews

The Bankster by Ravi Subramanian

Summary: Bestselling author Ravi Subramanian, a master storyteller of financial crime and winner of the Golden Quill Readers Choice Award, returns with his most gripping thriller yet.

Bankers build their careers on trust, or so everyone thinks, till a series of murders threaten to destroy the reputation that the Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) has built over the years. Who is behind these killings, and what is their motive?

When Karan Panjabi, press reporter and ex-banker, digs deeper, he realizes that he has stumbled upon a global conspiracy with far reaching ramifications a secret that could not only destroy the bank but also cast a shadow on the entire nation. With only thirty-six hours at his disposal, he must fight the clock and trust no one if he is to stay alive and uncover the truth.

In the racy build up to unraveling the mystery, stranger than fiction characters emerge, faith get shattered and ivory towers come crashing down. Bankers build their careers on trust, or so everyone thought – till the day the truth within GB2 gets revealed. Is the banker at GB2 fast turning into a Bankster? Or was he always one?

Spinning an intricate web of lies, deceit and treachery, bestselling author Ravi Subramanian is back. A master storyteller of financial crime, this is his most chilling thriller yet.

Buy it here – Amazon | Add at Goodreads

My View: I had heard so many good things about this book that I had high expectations from it even before I picked it up.

The book takes a slow start and later gathers pace. The author has made a big, complicated plot and then goes off to bring it out in this book. The settings are varied from Angola to Kerala to Mumbai but there’s a connect between it all, which is revealed at the end.

This is my first banker read. I was surprised when comparisons were drawn with John Grisham since he writes lawyer mysteries/thrillers but the comparison further heightened my curiosity. I am not sure if the comparison does justice but oh well…

There are a lot of characters in there so make sure you’re reading one book at a time unlike me. Though I did went on a start to finish schedule reading of it for entirely different reasons.

Let me tell you what I liked. I did like the complicated plot, it has substance. I could identify with the characters, they are made out well. And though disappointed with the initial pace of the book, I was glad when it picked up around the middle.

Now what irked me? A couple of things. Even though there is link between the different cities and what goes on there, it is revealed only in the end. So having flitted between all three throughout the book does seem unnatural at times and sort of broke the flow for me.

I have a limited memory, so I don’t do well with a lot of characters. Secondly, having mostly foreign (read English) names in a book which is for the most part set in India and even has lots of Hindi words thrown in surprises me and doesn’t fit in with the characters. I believe naming a character is extremely important part of a book and needs to be done accurately.

At times, I felt some of the key things in the books were missed as they were supposed to be natural to the reader but I don’t think it worked out that way. The relations between a lot of characters whose names were mentioned but their roles weren’t , felt incomplete to me.

Once I finished reading the book, I realized that even though the plot was new and complicated, it didn’t personally satisfy me as a reader. I was looking for so much more. I’m not sure if these were my feelings in general or a case of high expectations which didn’t turn out that well.

Lastly, I felt that editing the book by a lot of pages would make sense.

Overall, you may pick this up if you want to read what a banker mystery reads like. Personally, it didn’t fit with my reading style.

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About the Author

Ravi is an alumnus of IIM-Bangalore, batch of 1993. In a banking career spanning close to 18 years, he has worked with various multinational banks (Citibank, ANZ Grindlays Bank and HSBC) and at present lives in Mumbai with his wife and nine year old daughter.

An author of five books, THE BANKSTER, If God was a Banker, The Incredible Banker, Devil in Pinstripes and I Bought the Monk’s Ferrari, Ravi Subramanian’s maiden fiction venture, “If God Was a Banker” was published in 2007, establishing itself as a National Bestseller. The book has sold over 260,000 copies and has been widely appreciated by readers across genres and age groups. The book also won the prestigious Golden Quill Award for Readers Choice for the year 2008. His second book, “I Bought the Monk’s Ferrari” followed shortly after also setting the bookshelves on fire and is a bestseller in its category. Devil in Pinstripes was his third book which released in 2009.

His last book, The Incredible Banker, which released in September 2011 has been on various bestseller lists ever since the launch. In fact it has been on the crossword book store best seller list for 40 weeks of the last 48 weeks.

As a result of his extensive background in foreign banks, writing about banking comes quite naturally to Ravi. Each one of his books thus far have been set in the backdrop of a foreign bank. The Wall Street journal has referred to Ravi Subramanian as the John Grisham of Banking.

Find Ravi – Website | Twitter | Facebook



Often seen with a nose buried in a book, you might spy me at a library while 500 unread books adorn my shelf. At other times, I'm busy travelling solo, eating out or looking for my new escapades. You will always find me doing too much all at once.

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