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BlogAdda Book Review : Bankster

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Book: The Bankster

Author: Ravi Subramanian

At a time when the entire Banking industry is being criticized for being selfish and money minded, bankers being accused of being untrustworthy, this book by Ravi Subramanian seems to come like a blockbuster movie addressing right what the audience wants.

Bankster is derived from Banker + Gangster; a notion I would dislike considering that I am a banker myself. Ravi Subramanian is a banker himself and thus he understand the banking industry. Being called the John Grisham of Banking, I am not sure as I am yet to read the other 4 books of the author, however this book certainly presents an interesting real like plot with fast paced thriller embedded.

The story revolved around three distinct yet connected sub stories

1. CIA agent buying blood diamonds in Angola

2. A resort owner trying to fulfill a wish in honor of his dead son

3. A trusted Bank and the dark side of the banking activities

The primary story revolves around Great Boston Global Bank (GB2), a trusted MNC Bank where suddenly employees start loosing lives and when questions is started being asked by the Compliance Department Head “Raymond” and her friend “Harshita”, they too end of being dead. While the story initially leads with “Vikram” being the lead character who has the image of flamboyant banker, it gradually winds up to revolved around “Karan”, an ex Banker, currently journalist who becomes the protagonist and solves the murder mystery within 48 hours. The book exposes the dark side of miss-selling to customer and inefficiencies of Banking system through Zinaida, the new kid in the retail banking block, apparently recommended by Vikram, who grabs a huge account which later on is identified as the source of all problem. The is fast paced thriller revolving around potential murder suspects and finally giving a jolt climax and revealing the real villain.

The book has its own set of flaws:

1. Excessive use of Hindi, which seems meaningless

2. No in depth character building especially of Karan and Zinaida

3. The mystery resolution felt little unrealistic

Despite this the book will surely attract readers who are looking for a fast paced thriller intertwined with corporate drama especially Banking “masala”. The three subplots play out will and do not appear disconnected which makes the book a smooth read.

Enjoy Reading !

I would rate the book 3/5

This book review is part of the “Book Review” program by Blogadda. More such reviews can be found here. Sign up for the Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. and get free books! Participate now!

I would like to thank Blogadda and its team for providing this opportunity to read and review this book.

BlogAdda Book Review : Krishna Key

Title: Krishna Key

Author: Ashwin Sanghi

Ashwin Sanghi has come out with his next book “Krishna Key” after “Chanakya Chant”. He has followed the similar 2 story pattern in the book with an interesting plot woven together through intense research which is evident in the novel. Before I go into the review, would like to share this teaser video I found on Youtube for this book. Interesting to have a video marketing campaign for a book.

Now onto my views on the book. Those of you who have read Dan Brown books and in particular “Da Vinci Code” would tend to find start similarity in this book in terms of plot. Nerdy professor solving a mystery of cryptic murders with ancient signs and symbols all over the place, through a fast paced thriller woven with data and facts which at times get too complex and redundant. Sounds familiar to Da Vinci Code right ? Also the two story model doesn’t seems fit for this book and feels like a break between the fast paced novel. Possibly a 10 pager annexure at end of novel would have been sufficient for those having no knowledge of Krishna (maybe international audience ?)

Good thing about the book that you feel is that it keeps you glued, partly by the web of information provided about mythology and Krishna in particular, and partly by the fast turn of events that makes you keep reading and moving on to the next page. Mixing mythology and thriller creates a good concoction like in “Immortals of Meluha”, Ashwin Sanghi has tried his best to do similar thing here. I will give him credit for his effort and research on Krishna (to the extent of quoting his sources down to URL; impressive !!). If nothing else it improves your knowledge of Krishna and makes you want to know more about the beloved “Kishan Kanhaiya”.

<———————————————————–SPOILER ALERT—————————————————->

To give a synopsis of the story-line, it revolves around the lead character Ravi Mohan Saini, a history professor with deep interest in mythology and ancient history, getting dragged as a suspect for murder of his close friend who has supposedly made some mind boggling discovery related to Krishna and has created a cryptic message for anyone who wants to solve it. While our professor runs away with his student Priya  to prove himself innocent, there are 3 more murders throughout the story line by a character “Tarak Vakil” who thinks of himself as Kalki Avtar (10th avtar of lord Vishnu). With all this bollywoodish romance of running around with a girl and mild moments of intimacy and romance thrown in, the reader is subjected to sudden revelation of Priya being the villain. The story takes a twist from here on with another romantic angle thrown in of Ravi falling in love with Radhika, the cop who was chasing Ravi Saini around (Hilarious !). Amidst all this confusion and chase of finding what Tarak Vakil wanted for murdering 4 people, the story comes to an abrupt climax where the lead character realizes that the prize or the “Krishna Key” is not something material but spiritual. (WTH ! moment). You will also get to read a lot of science logic thrown in here and there to justify the existence of Shiv Lingams. Please read through it with a hearty laugh, nothing serious about it. Maybe some sense in writing about religious idols should have been through by the author.

All in all, my rating is 2.5 out of 5. An average read and certainly not upto the hype that this book created and the good reputation of Ashwin Sanghi in particular. Read it if you want to enjoy a fast paced thriller and if you are into mythology. If I get more time I would certainly explore the sources that Ashwin Sanghi has mentioned at end of his book. They would certainly form an interesting read for I am sure interested in knowing about Krishna more.

This book review is part of the “Book Review” program by Blogadda. More such reviews can be found here. Sign up for the Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. and get free books! Participate now!

I would like to thank Blogadda and its team for providing this opportunity to read and review this book.

Title: The Devotion of Suspect X

Author: Keigo Higashino (Translated by Alexander Smith with Elye Alexander)

ISBN: 0312375069

‘The Devotion of Suspect X’ is one of the most acclaimed works of Keigo Higashino with more than 2 million copies sold. The novel has also been made in a movie Suspect X.

The book is a murder thriller and is built around a fast paced plot. Japanese style of writing can be fully enjoyed with interesting to the point plots, fast paced story-line, surprises built in the story making to eager to turn the next page. Some characters have been shown to decipher too much from too little facts but I guess all murder thrillers needs at-least one mastermind to plot the murder and one to break the code.

The story revolves around four main characters –

1. Yasuko: Portrayed as the lead character who, along with her daughter Misato, murders her ex-husband Togashi

2. Ishigami: The genius mathematician who plays the role of mastermind plotting the entire story

3. Kusanagi: Detective who is involved in solving the case

4. Yukawa: Physicist, another genius, friend of both Kusanagi and Ishigami. He plays a vital role in determining how the story unfolds

The story starts on a fast-track mode with author clearly establishing Yasuko’s history as a divorcee mother and Ishigami’s secret love for her. Yasuko’s ex-husband shows up to again torture her and extract money. The mother-daughter duo snaps and this is where the murder happens. Fast but messy. Here is where the genius mathematician steps in to help the love of her life. The plot looks very dramatic as Ishigami, though a neighbor of Yasuko, has never really held a conversation with her. Yasuko, it seems out of fear and no way out, accepts Ishigami’s help.

While the story on a virtual plane revolves around Yasuko, the center or lead character appears to be Ishigami around which all characters revolve; or to simply put the beauty of author, Ishigami makes them revolve by his perfect game plan. While Ishigami is the one who plots the way the police can never suspect Yasuko, it is Kusanagi and Yukawa who unravel the whole story and keep the reader hooked on to the book. Ishigami plots a masterful, devious and methodical scheme to fool not only the police but also the reader’s in thinking in a tangentially different direction if they try to determine what’s happening next. Without giving spoilers for the book, reader has to extreme attention to details to understand the real motive. The chase of Kusanagi to find the killer seems futile at every moment and pretty much enjoyed by Ishigami who seems to have pre-meditated everything except one factor – his old friend Yukawa who matches his genius. It is he who ends of breaking the code only to learn that the web to protect Yasuko built by Ishigami was much more complex than he could ever imagine. The real suspect – Suspect X was Ishigami, who devoted his life to save Yasuko.

The story-line in this book is superbly crafted and is a wonderful,  recommended read if you like murder mystery books which keep you hooked on till the last. If while reading the book, you feel that the case is like a mathematical problem with clues thrown around for the reader to figure out, then you are not very far away from the truth ! 🙂

This book review is part of the “Book Review” program by Blogadda. More such reviews can be found here. Sign up for the Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. and get free books! Participate now!

I would like to thank Blogadda and its team for providing this opportunity to read and review this book.

Blogadda Book Review : A Flawed God

Title : A Flawed God

Author: Arjun Shekhar

ISBN: 9789350090572

“A Flawed God” is the first book of Arjun Shekhar, an HR professional and now running a consulting firm Vyaktitva from where the experiences inspire him to write this book.

The book an be described as a thriller for most of the part where Sachit, the protagonist assumes the role of a Hero rising from his lackadaisical corporate life. The book adds value through the concept of using the employees as owners of the company which is on opposite ends of concept of shareholder ownership. While employee ownership of company has been considered a moral hazard in corporate world, the author is successful in convincing the reader’s of its validity by implementing it through a all employee decision making authority called the Front Line Parliament. Though the concept and its implementation looks like bookish theory, the author is successful in keeping the reader’s hooked on to the book through inbuilt action/drama of HR director being kidnapped and Sanchit’s heroic deed of freeing his boss. While the element of romance could have been done away with, you do find the cute romance developing between Sanchit and Pause, another main character who plays a main role in development of Sanchit’s character. The author adds a unique flavor to each of its characters and you will end up loving each and every one of it.

While part 2 of the book is all about drama, action, love and heroism, Part 1 is more of a mystery journey which Sanchit undertakes after receiving a mysterious invitation from the “Progress in Work Collectives” a mysterious organization which runs an invisible initiative to put the organization’s staff at the center of its strategy. Sanchit who has been dragged into the corporate world after ending his cricketing career due to a max fixing scam, finds himself utterly demotivated in his job. This invitation brings to him the much needed excitement and he proceeds to Turkey for Lazuli Playshop for induction in the guild. Just when the journey becomes exciting with all the suspense & hype it leaves the readers hanging in the middle by saying  that there is a separate report published as a booklet which contains the description of the Workshop. The second part of the book though exciting is for most parts disconnected from part 1. These two are probably the only faults in the book.

The book ends with an exciting thriller climax where things happen super fast. HR Director rising to the occasion and taking the leadership role to make Frontline Parliament a success is as fast as the disclosure that the “Collectives” was all a hoax played by Pause on Sanchit. But the pace is good for the adrenalin rush you get by the moment you reach the climax anticipating what all can happen next.

Finally, The book is a good read for its unique subject & for the fact that it talks about corporate culture in an intelligent & entertaining manner.

This book review is part of the “Book Review” program by Blogadda. More such reviews can be found here. I would like to thank Blogadda and its team for providing this opportunity to read and review this book.