Book Review: Heads You Win

Banking trilogy

Having started with the latest book of Ravi Subramanian (The Bestseller She wrote), I decided to read the banking trilogy books that he is famous for.  Though I found a number of his books with "bank" contained in the title, I believe it is If God was a Banker, The Devil in Pinstripes and the Incredible Banker that makes up this trilogy.

I read them in order though it does not matter, since there is no continuity between the books.  While the first two books has New York International Bank as the Bank around which the story revolves, the last one has Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2).

If God was a Banker narrates the story of two IIM graduates who join New York International Bank on the same day.  While one of them is honest, upright and follows the straight path, the other one is aggressive, passionate and does not mind cutting corners to progress.  They start by being the best of friends, but become rivals as they compete for higher positions in the Bank.  Around the two central characters also figure the murky world of king-makers and middlemen - those who earn their success by exploiting the weakness of some of the Bankers.

The Devi in Pinstripes starts with the arrest of a Banker on charges of abetting the suicide of a loan defaulter.  The rise of the Banker and the world of loans and what the Banks do in order to meet targets form the basis of this book.

The Incredible Banker also starts in a shocking way - RBI pulling up the CEO of GB2 for aiding and abetting anti-social elements in the country.  This book narrates how not following guidelines in credit card issue leads to money laundering, which consequently is used to fuel extremist activities in the country.

Each of the book is short and revolves around one (or in the case of the first book two) characters.  All the characters are good at their job, but circumstances and their eagerness to succeed results in them getting embroiled in controversies.   The books are easy-pased and the author has a twist in the somewhere towards the end.

The author is a subject-matter experts and it shows up in the details.   But can he be called the Grisham of Banking - I wouldn't go that far.