Sunday, April 24, 2016

Book review- Bankerupt

Book -Bankerupt                 Author - Ravi Subramanian                       Publisher-  Penguin
Genre- Thriller                     Number of pages- 319, paperback        Purchase Price- Rs 250 from book stall
Available- in all book stores, online stores

The plot- Aditya Raisinghania is a senior investment banking manager at the prestigious Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) in Mumbai. Cirisha Narayanan and her father walk into BG2 on a warm summer morning of 2000 for a huge loan amount. Cirisha is a research scholar at M.I.T Boston struggling for a permanent job there. The duo meet and get married a year later. While both are doing well in their fields, Aditya bumps into his old classmate Shivinder who is a top shot with a footwear giant. Aditya helps Shivinder professionally to inflate the profits of the company on papers and cook up a false success story to attract international investment. Aditya soon gets promoted to the head of the bank, Shivinder is able to show profits for the company and together they literally mint money.

Meanwhile Aditya and Cirisha’s marriage starts to fall apart because of the growing distance between them. Her frequent trips to Boston and absence in Mumbai frustrates him.  To make the marriage last, Cirisha comes to India on a long break for a research project only to find something fishy at Shivinder’s company. Oblivious of Aditya’s involvement, she requests authorities of the parent company to investigate the fraud. The whole scam balloon built by Aditya and Shivinder bursts one day, costing Aditya his job. Aditya moves to Boston with Cirisha in quest of a new career. The worse and unexpected happens when an esteemed M.I.T professor supports the National Rifles Association (NRA) against the favour of gun control and wins several accolades across the country for his book. Richard, Cirisha’s colleague and closest friend, is also struggling for a permanent tenure in M.I.T since long. A frustrated Richard, on losing his last chance of tenure during the campus interview allegedly shoots the council members before shooting himself dead. Multiple rounds of chasing the culprits, protecting the victims and fishing out the clues happen. What follows next puts the readers in awe with an unexpected series of incidents, difficult to believe.

The 319 page book is a true thriller that involves financial fraud, politics in educational institute, murder of characters, all driven by desire and greed!  The story is quick paced without a single boring or dull moment. It keeps you riveted throughout. At least I was engrossed thoroughly! Subramanian’s style of writing is unique where he keeps the chapters short, interesting enough to keep readers at the edge of their seats.
The character portrayal is good, could have been better though.
Bankerupt lives up to its name and the tag line (desire, greed, murder). The plot is very well written and sub plots neatly weaved in together.The climax is not a happy ending fairy tale. It’s tragic and sad, leaving the readers thinking about the protagonist’s future. (I do so when I am totally attached to the characters).

Spoiler, loopholes of plot- Mr. Subramanian, why did you kill the character and take the story in reverse? By the time the actual story is revealed, the readers forget the initial incident and the time warp.  Secondly, checking email is one of the first things on a crime investigation, especially when a prestigious institute is concerned. Thinking of doing so and hacking a password would not have been difficult by Boston police team!
Recommended for- Thriller lovers, or Finance professionals in large corporates who would love the story and its twists.

My rating- In spite of a gripping plot and quick pace, I would rate it 3.5 on5, owing to a weak climax and loop holes in the plot.

About the author- (Source:Wiki page)- Ravi Subramanian is a banker by profession and an alumnus of IIM Bangalore. Post a career spanning two decades in the banking industry, he has authored novels such as Devil in Pinstripes, If God Was a Banker, The Incredible Banker, and I Bought the Monk’s Ferrari. He is also a columnist for The Economic Times. He has won the Economist Crossword Book Award twice, and has also won the Indiaplaza Golden Quill Book Award.

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