Published by-Penguin India
Source-Review Copy sent by the author via Think Why Not
Hailed as the John Grisham of Banking by the Wall Strret Journal,Ravi Subramanian is the best selling author(and also one of the few Indian authors who write taut thrillers) of ‘The Incredible Banker’,’If God was a Banker’ and the ‘Bankster’,with all of them set in the backdrop of the banking industry.’Bankerupt’ is his latest book and I would like to thank the author for sending me a review copy of the book.
The Plot-Aditya Raisinghania is a high-flying Mumbai based investment banker who sets up a scam with the help of his friend-turned-Client,Shivinder which eventually results in his downfall.Meanwhile,Aditya’s wife(Cirisha Narayan), who is an academician at MIT(Boston) stumbles upon a secret which has something to do with the gun lobbies in the United States.True to it’s tag line,Bankerupt is a tale of desire,greed and murder which is played out in Boston,Coimbatore and Mumbai.
The Characters-Bankerupt’s characters are believable,yet tangible.Thankfully, none of them are portrayed as epitomes of all virtues.Be it the Protagonist,Aditya- the banker who measures everything in terms of money or his wife,the ambitious academician who has a soft corner towards her assistant professor colleague(Richard),each one of them have their own weaknesses.But more than the Raisinghanias,it’s Richard-the frustrated assistant professor who evokes the reader’s sympathy.
The Language and Writing-English is pretty basic.There are neither long passages describing the scenic beauty of Charles River esplanade nor long monologues about the pits of moral turpitude that the banking industry has fallen into . The pace is a bit sluggish in the beginning,but picks up pretty soon.Twists and turns come at regular intervals while some of them are really good,a few are nothing but mundane.
What I liked the most about the book-
1.Being a person working in the research field,I could easily relate to the ‘MIT sequences’ in the book.At one point,the author says-‘ In the field of faculty research,it was not about the pay packages:they never got that much to fret over.It was all about egos’.Can’t agree more!
2.The portions related to Dharavi were well written.Frankly speaking,it reminded me of a couple of the real life stories which i read in Rashmi Bansal’s book-‘Poor Little Rich Little Slum’.
3.The climactic twist was terrific.I must admit that I never expected it!
4.The novel has references to many real-life incidents like the June 2013,Santa Monica shooting,the anti-corruption crusade in India to name a few.
5.The book throws light into the strong arms lobby in the United States and the sinister games which they play to save their turf.
6.Ravi Subramanian never confuses the reader.Even the least trivial of the bank transactions/scams mentioned in the book have been explained in simple terms which makes them easy to understand for even the average reader.
What I didn’t like-
1.The tale isn’t entirely devoid of clichés either.For instance,the scene in which Aditya gets a fake call which prompts him to escape from his house looks straight out of a regular Bollywood potboiler.Similarly some of the events happening in the pre-climactic portion of the novel is also run- of- the- mill stuff.
2.The book has it’s predictable moments too.Even before they start working on the NRA project,the reader can easily anticipate what the ‘actual results’ are going to be!
3.The character of Richard had immense potential.It’s a pity that ‘he’ has been grossly under written.Of course,the 'e-mails' are there,but it would have been better if atleast some portions of the story were told in his point of view too!
Verdict-On the whole,Bankerupt is a gripping thriller.I’m giving 4/5 for this brilliant page turner.Highly recommended!