Today, I'm reviewing the first novel of RV Raman, a new author. I received this in the mail when I was vacationing in Mussoorie, and I finally found the time to finish this book.
Author: RV Raman
Genre: CorporateThriller (Fiction)
Publisher: Hachette New York
Pages: 289Price: Rs.250 (Paperback)
- Varsha: Assistant Manager at CBS & Co., one of the 'Big Five' global accounting firms
- K. Subramaniam a.k.a. Subbu: Senior Partner at CBS, and a mentor and fatherly figure to Varsha
- R.C. Visht: Chairman of First Line Credit (FLC) Bank
- Praveen Ranade: Detective Inspector
'Fraudster' opens with the death of Shruti Mathur, a young employee at Devalkar Bank. She is killed when she falls off a local train between Sion and Kurla. This comes shortly after she gives her statement to the commission investigating a large scale fraud, and is fired by her employer who considers her negligent.
Visht, who is on the panel investigating the fraud, discovers that Shruti has been framed and his bank (FLC) has been a victim of deceit. A tragedy befalls Visht and his close associate, Subbu. This devastates Kamini (Visht's daughter) and Varsha, but they pull themselves together and help the police in their task.
The story mainly revolves around Varsha and Kamini who are attacked for an important piece of evidence that incriminates the powerful mastermind behind the fraud. The perpetrator of the crimes is somebody close to them, but the girls are not sure who. There is some action in the story, complete with fire, gunshots, fisticuffs and chasing in dark, narrow and desolate alleys.
The book seeks to answer some glaring questions:-
- Are the deaths by accident or by design?
- Who is the real fraudster?
- Will the fraudster ever be brought to book?
The book cleverly examines in a story the real-world scams that many a politician has been imprisoned for, but takes care to remove any direct reference to any individual/incident/party.
Raman's story has no loopholes, but it is evident that he is not a natural storyteller. The book is very focussed and the plot is linear. The content gets a bit repetitive as the structure of the fraud is revisited every few chapters, but the story largely remains interesting.
The author does a great job of detailing the day-to-day functions of risk management teams in banks, audit firms and IT Security personnel. The fact that Raman has experience in related fields is clear. He draws inspiration from his own world and makes a bold attempt at using similar scenarios for the novel.
I give this book an overall rating of 6 on 10 for a crisp plot and even pace. It misses a few points for keeping the story too simple and the language a tad bit ordinary. Nevertheless, it's a good book to keep you from getting bored on train journeys.
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