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3.7 out of 5 stars
The Banker
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2012
I read this book on a flight to the Maldives at the same time as the fat cat bankers were in the news in the UK. I finished it in (almost) one go.

Apart from being written in a racy style, it has a very good twist at the end. In my opinion the plot would be ideal for an american type thriller film.

I also liked the anecdotes and background information given on the protagonist's frantic travels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 July 2012
Throughout the book is the feeling that the author sat down, scanned the press to get a few ideas and started writing. The impression is of a rushed effort with little attempt at finesse.

The entire plot seems to have been culled from newspaper articles available at the time the author decided to write the book. The characters are thinly disguised caricatures of people who have appeared in the press and the plot lurches from one unbelievable coincidence to the next - seemingly solely to introduce the next ludicrous happening. The story lacks subtlety and is clumsy and poorly written and crafted. It's only redeeming feature is an interesting insight to South America.

Sorry, but this book was too ridiculous to be a good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2012
An easy read, with a topical theme about bankers, crashes, and Russian oligarchs.

Quite enjoyable, but suffers from an uneven pace, perhaps reflecting the authors knowledge, research and interests. Some parts, such as the back story of several of the main protagonists are rushed, yet the part set in the South America seems drawn out by comparison. The tying up of loose ends at the end is clumsy and reminds me of the movie cliche of having a news broadcast in the background.

There are also a few too many silly coincidences for my liking.

Overall, good idea, that with a bit more effort could have been a cracker.
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on 28 August 2012
Given what is currently happening in Europe's banking industry, this novel certainly is timely! I am sure many investors in Greece, Spain and around the world who are seeing their investments disappear feel exactly like Mr. Strelnikov, who lost 4 billion in the collapse of NatScot. This oligarch wants his money back and is demanding retribution from Sir Phil Black, the ruthless, back-stabbing, bank director who had recommended that the bank invest heavily in US subprime mortgages. We all know what happened next!! Problem is that Sir Phil feels little responsibility towards his investors and at least one of them may rectify that attitude. But are they trying to kill him or make him pay up? The government also wants a piece of him now that they consider him an embarrassment. Everybody, it seems, is out to get him. Is he just paranoid or should he be scared and run like a rabbit?

If you enjoy a good spy novel that has some bumbling twits, reporters, and hired killers working against each other giving the story that edge of needed dark humour while at the same time, the master spies are planning the real events behind the scenes, then this book provides that interesting read. It is so full of layers,twists ,turns and even some climbs that it will keep you reanalysing what you thought was going to happen next. I don't think anybody will predict the ending from many pages ahead. And what a great finale!!

I had to read it this novel twice since I was so immersed in what was happening & I was so anxious to move ahead with the plot, that I didn't get to enjoy the Mr. Drysdale 's beautiful descriptive narrative of the regions. Second time through I paid more attention to details such as the descriptions of locale, timely introduction and then the behaviours of the other characters and, discovered information I had missed in my rush, the first time through. Whatever you do, don't cheat and read the ending or you will ruin it for yourself! Never in a million years could I have predicted the exact path this novel takes. With the hundreds of novels I read, that is a high compliment to this author.

Not every novel is perfect and neither is this one. So here goes: At times, as I mentioned earlier, I found parts predictable but just prior to the event not chapters before therefore I found that acceptable as it didn't detract from the story. Also, some sections in S.A. seem to drag on while we seem to be missing vital info, on the home front. Mr. Michael Drysdale is British, and obviusly writing using British English. I am only commenting because my Dad was British and therefore I grew up hearing some of the expressions written into this novel and being Canadian we also use the same grammatical & spelling formats albeit expressions differ. I found some of the expressive use of the language awkward even for British English and would recommend some further editing especially if this will be released in the North American market. In my first read, I ignored it since I always got the gist of what the author was intending to say, however, with my second read through, some of the grammatical awkwardness was more evident. Not enough to stop me from recommending this gem of a contemporary spy novel but perhaps to nudge the author to consider another edit. It did most unfortunately cost him a star.
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Overall, this is a worthwhile read and I am sure that any mystery/spy fan will not go wrong spending a few hours of escape with The Banker by Michael Drysdale.
I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from in exchange for an honest review. I am not related nor friends with this author.
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This is a short, easy read, with some topical interest but little real depth. You will learn something of Ecuador and bird watching holidays, but little about the reality of banking and how we have come to the point of near breakdown in our financial systems. The book is light in tone and very digestible - what I would class as an airplane novel - something the nervous flyer might find absorbing.

There are some drawbacks, however. The main one, for me, was that I have nothing but contempt for greedy bankers, so it was difficult to extend any empathy towards Sir Phil, the protagonist, in flight from his indiscretions as a banking chief. Secondly, I found the characterisation superficial. Especially when we were faced with, yet again, Russian thugs and their oligarch as the villains. Essentially this was villain versus villain, therefore who cares who wins in the end? One doesn't mind implausibilities in thrillers though, so I did read this with the intention of being fair to it. I have nothing but admiration for anyone who can write a thriller and make it an engrossing read. In spite of its superficiality, I rather enjoyed it.

Nb. I was asked to review this book by the author who sent it to me in a downloadable format.
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on 21 January 2013
I received this book as a freebie from bookrooster and this is my first attempt at reviewing. The book itself was quite an easy read but it did seem to spend rather too much time giving details on the various locations discussed within the book, and there were quite a few. There was a degree of laziness in some of the text, using the moon as the title for a tabloid newspaper being one. Without spoiling the end it was fairly predictable from the half way stage with an almighty clue dropped in. As the book was free I can not comment on value for money but although a little predictable it was not boring and was quite easy to follow. Not sure if I'll read further novels by the author but probably not.
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on 24 January 2012
I've just finished this debut novel which I read in one go. It's a real page turner. The book is a thriller and starts with a former banker on the run from a Russian oligarch with a Mafia background. There are several other threads which all come together in the second half of the book. There are lots of twists, turns and cliff hangers throughout the plot. The ending, a complete surprise, is one of the best I've seen. The book is fast paced and I read it in 4 hours. It's a great read for a plane flight or a long train journey. There are a number of exotic locations which would make it a great film.
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on 30 July 2012
What a load of rubbish. The plot was totally and utterley unbelievable. Thankfully I only paid 99p for this book, had I paid more then I would have been very angry.

The writer continually uses the lead characters "Sir" which became very annoying - there was no need for it to be prefixed to the name. I was perfectly aware of the fact he had a knighthood. I would want to read another book by this author unless his writing style / imagination changes dramatically.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2012
Warning, this thriller-based book provides compulsive reading! It is very difficult to tear oneself away from 'The Banker' once one starts reading it. The plot is multi-threaded and masterfully takes the reader on a journey through various near and distant destinations. Sometimes, one almost feels sorry for ruthless ex-banking fat-cat Sir Phil Black and wishes that something more could be done to help him, especially where his family is concerned. As the book progresses, the various threads are tied up. However, one particular sweetener is left dangling in the air and brings the story to an amazing conclusion. Thoroughly recommended...
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on 13 July 2012
Did I like it, yes, but it was only ok, hence the three stars. I did find myself skipping paragraphs in places towards the end, but this novel was an easy read and it did bring a smile to my face every now and then as I placed real people in place of the fictional characters.
Recommend, yes, but don't expect too much.
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