This is now the third book by Mr. Subramanian that I have reviewed, courtesy of the wonderful folk at Blogadda. As befits a former banker, banking plays a definite role in Mr. Subramanian’s novel, as it did in his earlier books, The Bankster and God is a Gamer, but this time banking is more the backdrop, the corporate setting for the complex, gripping tale. The corridors of corporate power are just part of the world of Mumbai-based middle-aged banker Aditya, who is also a hugely successful novelist. This likeable, affable man transitions from corporate honcho to rockstar status writer with ease and remarkable humility, and with his loving nuclear family acting as his sounding board, Aditya truly does seem to have it all.
Until he gets entangled with a young woman. The story of Aditya falling for Shreya is hardly the first time that a pretty woman has derailed the marriage of a middle-aged man, dazzled by the attention paid to him by a younger woman.
In the case of Shreya, however, the dominant figure in this novel, it is not just a question of a beautiful young girl ensnaring a middle-aged man, for Shreya is the complete package – super bright, slim, attractive, a business school graduate and a budding writer to boot. From the moment we meet her, we realize that Shreya is also outspoken and determined to get her own way.
We the readers are, from the outset, more aware of what seems to be the dark side of Shreya’s ambitions and I know I, for one, kept willing Aditya not to be so trusting and loving, wanting him to see what this manipulative young woman was up to. I don’t want to spoil the plot in any way, but trust me that the build up of the relationship between Aditya and Shreya is cleverly crafted by the talented Mr. Subramanian. We are aware that Aditya is heading into ever deeper and more dangerous waters, but he seems maddeningly oblivious. Enough clues are shown to us, whereas Aditya seems blind to them. Lovely as Aditya is – and he truly a nice, totally likable, empathetic man – I kept wanting to shake him by the shoulders and say “Wake up, man. Just look at what she is doing!”. But of course you can’t do that to a character in a book, so you read on, hoping and praying that Aditya avoids the pitfalls looming in front of him…and that’s as far as I’m going, otherwise I’ll be labelled a plot-spoiler.
The writing is crisp and to the point, though there are a few sloppy editing errors – mainly wrong spacing after commas, that kind of visually irritating thing. A writer of Mr. Subramanian’s stature deserves better from his editor.
The plot is cleverly crafted with not one but several last minute twists in the tale, that keep your attention right to the very last pages. The author has used last minute twists to great effects in his earlier novels, so I was sort of expecting one, but this one was totally unexpected.
I loved the insights into the world of publishing, which brought to life the process that takes place after the words are written. I also loved the author’s trademark clever use of technology in the plot – and if it’s not revealing too much (hope not!) if ever there was case for being vigilant about what you say or don’t say on your mobile phone…
If you would like to buy this book now – and it’s a good read, trust me! – then just click here :