Book Review : The Bankster by Ravi Subramanian

Before I embark on the tale of reviewing this wonderful thriller, I would like to thank Nirav Sanghavi, CEO at for giving me this opportunity. I have taken exact seven days to read this book and here is your midnight review :)

Ravi Subramanian, the noted author of four other features has done a commendable job at weaving this exotic financial thriller exposing banking scams in this wonderful work of fiction. He is a master at story telling, which is conclusive from the very beginning of your read. He is a best selling author and the winner of the 2008 Golden Quills Readers' Choice Award. In this gripping thriller he is about to set your mind racing about what might really be lying down under.

With scams being exposed far and wide throughout the nation, with the likes of Arvind Kejriwal bringing out what we have already been suspicious about but never knew for sure and then books like this to bring out the very doubts that rock our financial capital, little is left to comprehend from what the author is trying to portray.

I shall call this the Godfather of Banking Crimes.

Let's move on to the plot. Ravi starts us off with Joseph Braganza, a CIA agent dealing in blood diamonds in Angola. He is depicted as cold, calm and thorough. Even a false alarm at the airport is enough to raise his antennae.

There is no room for error. He is meticulous about what he deals with and why not, with the stakes of millions and the lives of many.
Braganza is lost to most of the plot after the introduction but resurfaces later in the scheme of things.

Most of the story is set in Mumbai at the Greater Boston Global Bank(GB2). Ravi weaves us through the banking system with great details and pain taken to describe the finer aspects about banking to people like me who have no insider's view into the system. I really appreciated that effort on his part, it never got monotonous at any point. This is sheer brilliance at story telling.Also he seems to be giving us a message in most of his accounts about fraudulent practices and how banks misuse the trust of unassuming patrons, sometimes, for their own selfish gains. I have seen this in the real world and it just keeps getting a nod in the book.

Another highlight is of fraud within certain 'NGOs' which are funded by interests that are not always humanitarian.
Some apt descriptions have been made which make you go back to people in real life where you have this Deja vu feeling, especially when you deal with your bank. It makes you probe further about who's interest is really being met out.
The term 'Bankster' itself will gain popularity. Gangster plus Banker ...get it hahahahhahaha

At GB2, a huge account, Asia Logistics, that the bank lands which should have brought them great benefits ends up in misery and the death of some innocents.Who is ultimately responsible for this grave error and why?

Some of the main characters at GB2 are
Indrani, the CEO at GB2
Vikram Bahl, the head of retail banking
Tanuja, Head of HR

Nikhil, Bandra Cluster head 
Harshita Lele, the most coveted RM, who ultimately questions herself and her capabilities when she is met with her match. Where does self doubt lead her?

Zinadia Gomes, a young and dashing MT trainee who lands the post of the best Relationship Manager at the Bandra Bank Branch. What happens to her in the scheme of things?
Raymond Saldanha, works in the Compliance department and has hit upon something disturbing. Something that might not go down well with his superiors. Does he follow it up? Does ten years of devotion to his job and principles pay up? His family affairs are screwed up and life on the personal front is nothing to talk about. How happy does he get in the end?

Another parallel part is played by Krishna Menon who is dead against the Nuclear power plant in Devikulam, Kerala. He has made a promise to his son and he wants to fight the government who putting millions of peoples lives at risk. He combines with Jayakumar who he thinks is a social worker. Is he really?
Can a father keep his promise?

Karan Panjabi, an ex-employee at GB2 turned to an investigarive reporter for a leading daily.

He offers the CEO help to fish out the murderers.Is he successful in solving the crime. Is he instrumental in helping the story unfold. Read the book to find out this and more.

I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from Ravi Subramanian. This book can very well become a Bollywood flick or even a beautifully illustrated comic. I would prefer to read it as a comic thriller as parts of it became too lengthy to read but Kudos to the author's effort.
I also wish Karan Panjabi had an earlier entry, maybe not so much dramatic but some mention earlier because his role is so significant. But I can also understand that the sleuth of characters that the writer brought in to the story, there are so many, where was it possible to add in more space to write about the Hero at the beginning, anyway. 
Also, the places mentioned in Mumbai are mostly from the real world and being able to relate to them gives the book more distinction.
Are bankers really goons?
There is more than what meets the eye.
There is so much more to this book, guys, do read it and share your comments with me on what you feel about this book.

Have you read any other books by Ravi Subramanian? Do let us know below :)

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

Contact Ravi Subramanian@



  1. I finished it in 3-4 days too..loved it..u wrote a fab review :)

  2. How do you implement disable right clcking , and also this novel seems to a suspense thriller nice guide thanks.

  3. Nice review..:)
    Happy Diwali to you and your Family :)
    Take care and enjoy .

  4. Hi there,
    That was a good take of The Bankster. You've covered all the characters well.
    True, the name Bankster is gaining popularity.

    I, too enjoyed reading this book and was gripped till the end.
    Happy Diwali to you.

    Here's my take on The Bankster:



  5. @Bhumika, thank you so much:)
    @Elee Wright, try this
    @Naznin, thank you :)
    @Niesha, thank you dear, hope you had a lovely one.:)
    @Jay, thank you so much for taking out the time to read it. :) Happy Diwali to you too :) will surely check your blog thanks.

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  8. thanks a ton for a lovely review... really nice and comprehensive. Loved it... more than that loved the fact that you liked the book. :)
    Ravi Subramanian

    1. Hi Ravi, it's a great piece of writing. It's such an honor to see your comment in here :) Thank you for stopping by and hope to read more titles from you. :)