WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4/5
Crime fiction novels in India have not had the same success as other genres like romance and dare I say, humour. This could well be that either the audience for such a genre is limited or we have not had very good writers who could entice the readers. Of course, Ravi Subramanian has been very popular with his banker series, but unfortunately, there have not been many others who have followed his success.
But there could well be a new name on the block, with RV Raman’s Fraudster. It is a crime fiction that takes place in the highest corporate circles. When a large-scale financial fraud comes to light, a commission is set up to look into it. Properties have been valued at 4 or 5 times their actual value and loans have been disbursed with these overvalued assets as collateral. One of the bankers, a young woman, who deposed in front of the commission is found dead after a supposed accident and is quickly followed by another apparent suicide of a highly respected man of Corporate India makes for high stakes and fast-paced story. How the corruption and the high profile crimes are brought to light forms the basis of the rest of the story.
Being a crime fiction novel, one can reveal the criminal midway and have the plot race ahead to keep the reader’s interest or the author can suspend revealing the identity until the end and keep the reader guessing, in the Doyle and Christie mode. Mr. Raman chose the 2nd way and does a wonderful job with it. The clues are all out in the open, and the reader can try to guess who the criminal is. It’s certainly not easy, with the grand reveal at the end as surprising as it can be.
The author’s background in financial circles has certainly helped him in terms of being authentic, and some of the procedures are certainly enlightening to lead. At the same time, one does not need to have an in-depth knowledge of financial terms to be able to follow the plot. It makes for a very absorbing reading and certainly does not disappoint. Jargons were not used excessively and more importantly, and thankfully, there is no overdose of other languages than English to disrupt the flow either.
All in all, Fraudster makes for very good reading, and Mr. Raman will be an author I will be looking forward to for his future books.