|God is a Gamer|
Ravi Subramanian is an Indian author. A banker by profession, Subramanian has written popular thrillers about banking and bankers, including two Crossword Book Award winning titles The Incredible Banker and The Bankster. An alumnus of Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, Subramanian has spent close to two decades in the financial services industry. After having worked with companies such as Citibank, HSBC and ANZ Grindlays, Subramanian is now the CEO of a listed NBFC. Subramanian continues to write popular columns for well-known magazines and has his own personal weekly column in the Career and Business life page of The Economic Times.
The ‘product’ as Ravi Subramanian loves to call his books is a treat to the eye with its classy and creative Front and back covers. It will add beauty to your bookshelf. Read on, to see whether it will intrigue you as a reader as well.
Story line: The story begins with an interesting prologue that introduces the reader to the amazingly exciting and adrenaline-pumping world of finance industry, the whistleblower site wiki leaks, the emerging giant and dark world of bitcoins.
The assassination of a US Senator, Gillian Tan follows. Adrian Scott, an FBI special agent, who is in charge of the investigation, is clueless as to who would have wanted the senator dead. Gillian Tan, the close friend of the President, was killed in his bulletproof car. The killers had employed a very well planned operation to eliminate the senator and had left behind very few clues. The investigation leads Adrian to the illegal trading chain called Cotton trail where the murkiest trades on earth are carried out under the shroud of anonymity.
Meanwhile, in India, phishing scandal plagues the multi-national bank, NYIB and Swami, the head of retail banking in the firm approaches his mentor and friend, Aditya Rao for advice. Aditya was a part of NYIB, but had quit to start his own BPO eTIOS. He also runs a successful gaming company called Indiscape. Another of Swami’s friend is Sundeep, who is in charge of Indiscape. The three had become friends while they had worked together in the initial days of the NYIB.
The seemingly unrelated incidents are in fact two of the main links of a chain of crimes that occur across a world that is governed by virtual money called Bitcoin. Through seemingly unconnected narrations, the author introduces many more characters who eventually create a chain in an elaborate scheme where even God is taking the side of a Criminal and plays a game efficiently planned by the perpetrator of the crime.
Maybe everything is fair in love and war. That is what the author tries to convince the reader. But sadly it didn’t work for me. Crime to eliminate Crime? And that too in the process destroying millions of other lives? Not fair. The author tries a double ending. An epilogue appears in chapter 97 and two more chapters follow that takes a detour.
The Epilogue is ‘The End’ meant for the world that is described in the book and chapter 98 and 99 are for the reader. In these chapters, the author takes us on a detour to explain that not all that appears to the eye is the truth, talk about a tale within a tale. He tries hard to prove that revenge is not a crime. While the actual culprit lives happily ever after, the one who is selfish and a fool in love, a prey for the predator, ends up behind bars, ostracized by the entire world.
I was disappointed with the climax. Also, there were so many digressions from the actual plot that could have been avoided. Even though the language and narration are good, the many digressions and the unsavory ending was a definite dampener as far as the story line go. Many unnecessary inclusions to add spice to the story, too many characters, many similar names, information overload in certain chapters and too many negative characters.
Verdict: If you want to read an international style thriller from an Indian author, this book is for you.
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