Square One

Where it all begins..

The Bankster : A Book Review

by Radhika Kuldeep

I was quite excited to read the new book ‘The Bankster’ by Ravi Subramanian as I had not read any fiction for a long time. The fact that it is a crime novel based in India made it even more appealing. I havent read any other books by the author before.

The Book:

The Bankster is about a CIA Agent conducting an arms deal in Israel, Africa etc. in exchange of blood diamonds, the Greater Boston Global Bank [GB2], and the locals in Kerala protesting against the Nuclear Power Plant. There is money laundering, bank staff being murdered in and out of India for being inquisitive and no one knows who is behind all of this. It is all solved by an ex employee who is currently training to be a crime investigator with one of the country’s top most newspaper.

The Review:

The story and the initial chapters move quite slowly. The story shuttle between the three places of Mumbai, Kerala and Vienna and initially is rather confusing. But the pace quickens once you are through with one third of the book. The story has quite a few characters in it, some of which have appeared in the author’s previous book but I didn’t realize that till much later. Most of the main characters are well fleshed out. He has narrated the complexities of an international bank quite effortlessly and the politics that go hand in hand. While the main plot of the story appears to be money laundering, we later realize that it is just a front for something far more sinister. There are quite a few sub-plots woven into the story, for eg: the nuclear plant in Kerala, the ivory smuggling case, the affairs between senior staff of the bank, some of which seem unnecessary. But the story all comes together when the ex employee is sitting with his team piecing together clues [in a boardroom, in total filmy style]. While we understand how it is all connected, some parts seem a tad bit stretched . For Eg: an iPhone connects automatically to the cloud via wifi and uploads images [in Vienna] that were simultaneously downloaded on the iPad [in Mumbai] which is solid evidence against the murderer. This seems possible but slightly stretched. But overall, it is an enjoyable experience. The dramatic reveal of the Bankster, is almost out of a hollywood film and provides a gripping climax to the narrative.

One of my biggest grouse was about the language. The author has used Hinglish throughout the book. I quite understand that it is probably to appeal to the masses that speak similarly everyday. But as someone who has grown-up reading the classics of Tom Sawyer and Oliver Twist, it is a put-off. Also the way we read is never the way we speak and vice-versa.

Having said that, I would recommend this book to all those who like fiction and murder mysteries and want to read something by an Indian Author in that genre.

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

A sumptuous meal

by Akshat Rathi

The fickle nature of the weather on this little island is the talk of the country. So much so that complaining about the weather has become a national hobby. It’s a conversation starter and/or finisher. Yet, I’ve come to appreciate nature more in this country than I had in India. One reason is that a lot of people take genuine interest in nature. The city councils ensure that there are enough open spaces in the urban landscape. A lot of efforts are put into maintaining those spaces too. Whether private or public, England can boast of some of the most beautiful open spaces.

This week’s picture is from my archive. It was taken in Lady Margaret Hall’s gardens in the summer of 2008.  As I said last time, I am waiting for what this summer will bring for me to capture.

Its a Thursday!

by Radhika Kuldeep

I’ve had a hectic week since the last Friday. I’m thankful for most of the things that I did over this past week. I’m feeling quite bad that I have tweeted just once! I visited my grandmother and K’s grandmother over the weekend. Both of them are more than 85yrs and insist on doing everything themselves! I helped my grandmother do some banking work and at K’s grandmother’s house, all of us enjoyed the day playing cards and a traditional village board game using wooden pegs and cowries! Also this house was 10mts away from the railway tracks! so we had fun watching numerous trains come and go! I did something i always wanted to do! Placed a Rs. 5 coin on the tracks just before a train passed through! It was flattened in no time at all!

Other things that I was thankful for

  • – being able sleep in the car for 3hours or so while K drove!
  • – being able to to write my article in time!
  • – being able to watch a movie with K, Trupti & Niket!
  • – the yummy pav bhaji that Apu cooked last night!

I’m thankful for a fun week! What are you thankful for?

Bounty hunter

by Akshat Rathi

 

This is a picture from the summer of 2008, which was my first one in the UK. I’m waiting for this summer to come. I will be spending most of it in London and I’m excited about what my camera will capture then.

It’s Those Thursdays

by Akshat Rathi