FraudsterFraudster by RV Raman (Hachette India, 2014), Pages, 289. 

By far one of the best thrillers by an Indian writer, Fraudster by RV Raman is an exciting read.

Set in Mumbai, the novel opens with the murder of a bank clerk. The next to be killed is Mr. Visht, the Managing Director of the bank, as he is on the brink of discovering an unholy nexus between bank employees and loan seekers. But the killers have left many loose ends, which Mr Subbu, Visht’s colleague at the bank and a close friend, picks up. Within days he too is found murdered. Someone, with inside help of the bank staff, has secured loans for thousands of crores against overvalued assets as collateral.

Murder, arson, kidnapping, sleaze, hawala, land sharks, it’s all there, in the right proportion to keep the reader engaged. But the absence of a protagonist—I could never be sure if the spunky Varsha was the lead, or was it the pencil-twirling inspector Ranade?—and too much of clarification given in the last 30 pages to wrap up the story dulled its overall impact.

Highly recommended. Rating: 4 / 5.

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