Book Review: Fraudster
Fraudster is R. V. Raman’s first book – a thriller set in the corporate/ financial sector. The premise of the book is the prevalence of NPAs (Non Performing Assets) in a large number of financial institutions and the myriad schemes and machinations involved therein.
The core strength of Raman’s book is that the plot is quite realistic and believable. What I found most interesting was the ingenious ways in which businessmen in India are looting banks via mortgage frauds. It is only in India perhaps that with the right amount of political backing and street smarts, you can get away with thousands of crores of fraud. (Think a certain high profile husband of a famous political dynasty scion.)
What Raman has is a deep insight of how the financial sector works and how fraud works in the financial sector. There are perhaps a couple of paragraphs in the book that might be difficult for the lay reader to understand (this reviewer having worked for over four years in the banking sector understood them easily) but that would be a minor hiccup in an otherwise good book.
Where the book falls short somewhat is (most likely) primarily due to Raman’s lack of experience as a writer. There are far too many characters in the book to keep pace with and even though you remember most of them, some of them shall inevitably slip from your attention. This wouldn’t be a problem if these characters weren’t later, relevant to the plot. It is perhaps only Agatha Christie who could somehow make us remember twenty plus myriad characters in her books. Also, there are a couple of scenes in the book that are somewhat cheesy; a fight sequence between gun toting men and an unarmed young man is especially hard to swallow.
But what keeps the book going is its frenetic pace. Action flows thick and fast and literally everybody is a suspect, which makes the book eminently readable.
Fraudster is a surprisingly good whodunit from a newbie author. Recommended.
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