Book Reivew - Fiction · Book Review- Thriller · Book Review-Crime

Review of a ‘Kill-Chill’ novel: God Is A Gamer

“If there is any truth in what you are saying, there are too many balls in the air. It could be anything. Muslim fanatics in Af-Pak, Hindu fundamentalists in India, Sri Lankan rebels fighting the government for Tamil liberation, Iranian extremists, Iraqis owing allegiance to Saddam. It could be anything. Where do we begin?’

Author: Ravi Subramanian
Publication: Penguin
Price: Rs 299
Genre: Thriller

Ravi Subramanian was one author who I was wanting to read but kept bidding my time. Now, why would I, a person not even remotely connected with the world of bank, business and accounts wish to read books read by a banker? Well, I had read all kinds of books with varied backgrounds, some even so fascinating that I could not even identify 0.1% of my life with them. Good Lord! Did I just mention a number? Well, you can attribute that to my reading of Ravi Subramanian’s book, God Is A Gamer!

The book’s title attracted me. I quite believe that God Is indeed a Gamer because He might be just watching all of humanity playing their games, with the ignorant and arrogant humans not realizing that the main game is being played somewhere else.

What happens when you cross gamer, banker, politician and terrorist with virtual money?
From the bestselling author of If God Was A Banker comes the first ever bitcoin thriller. God Is a Gamer is a world where money means nothing, martyrs are villains, predators are prey, assassination is taught by the ancient Greeks, and nothing is as it seems.
Moving from Washington’s Congress to Delhi’s finance ministry, the beaches of Goa to the corporate boardrooms of Mumbai, this is Ravi Subramanian’s most gripping novel yet.

Bitcoins was a word I had vaguely heard of but had not understood much. I understood it in its entirety in the novel. Dealing with the virtual world every day I had not realized that there could be something as interesting, mysterious and sensational as virtual money. Adding to this concept a gripping tale of finance, politics, greed and banking makes the entire plot a varied and sensational one.

When I had commenced reading the book, I was sceptical because I wasn’t sure whether the author would be able to capture the imagination of a reader not even vaguely interested in a novel with banking and finance as the backdrop. Yeah! Me. But, the author put all my doubts to rest as I found myself wanting to know more as the plot advanced.

So, we have Aditya who runs a gaming company Indiscape and eTIOS, his son Varun (who is also into drugs and all) who turns around the world of gaming and brings the kind of success that his father always wanted (though, not exactly in the way he wanted it).

A phishing scam unexpectedly affects innumerable customers of NYIB (New York International Bank) a place where Aditya had once worked. This is followed by the death of the chairman of NYIB, Malvika Sehgal. Accusations and counter accusations follow where even the Finance Minister is placed under suspicion. Her daughter Tanya gets closer to Varun trying to come to terms with the sudden death of her mother. But, are things really the way they appear to be?

Elsewhere, a US government official Gillian Tan is assassinated in a bomb explosion in Washington. During the course of the investigation a cotton trail website is discovered which sells illegal items via a free network called the TOR (Onion Router). What makes the investigation difficult is that the website uses bitcoins as payment. This brings the investigations officers to India. What happens after that? Is the murder solved? Is the ATM heist connected to this?

All at once, the net doesn’t appear a safe place anymore with illegal transactions like drugs, money and sex exchanging hands and disrupting lives all over the world.

If you are into thrillers, then, this book is for you. It is the chill-kill kind of thriller. And, I am glad that I got to read the book. Ravi has done a fine job with the story plot and the novel.


ravi subramanianRavi Subramanian is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and has spent two decades in the world of global banking in India. His debut novel, If God Was a Banker won the Golden Quill reader’s Choice Award in the year 2008. He won the Economist Crossword Book Award in 2012 for The Incredible Banker and the Crossword Book Award in 2013 for The Bankster. His most recent novel is Bankerupt. He lives in Mumbai with his wife and daughter.

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