This review by Trisha Ray was commissioned by Sameer Kamat who was kind enough to wait for months and game enough to allow this scathing review to be published.
In a list of things that you would feasibly call ‘wild’, management consulting would rank pretty low, possible after pottery classes. With this prejudice in mind, I was a bit skeptical as I dove into Sameer Kamat’s thriller, Business Doctors: Management Consulting Gone Wild. The premise was intriguing enough. Woody’s Family Business is down in the docks, bleeding money and set to collapse in on itself, when the boss’s wife, Angie suggests an unusual remedy. Enter Michael Schneider, blue-eyed, Armani-clad, cool-headed management consulting wiz. The twist of course is that WFB is a mafia ring- with their fingers in a variety of pies ranging from pornography, to gambling, to marijuana. Schneider faces the unusual challenge of explaining to hard-headed gangsters how to run their business, while trying his best to dodge the mafia boss’ wife’s advances. WFB is something of an institution in the underworld, and even as they crumble, they send shivers down the competition’s spine. The best example of their ruthlessness would be the fact that their initiation ceremony includes a fight till death (or near death), which Schneider suddenly finds himself bang in the middle of. Reluctant at first, he discovers his flair for hatching nefarious schemes- including a series of outrageous jailbreaks, and a mafia boot camp
So far so good, but I missed out a key plot point here. The mafia boss’ name is Stephen Woody aka Woody aka Let’s Bring On the Penis Jokes. So many penis jokes, the most churlish of which is the name of the WFB casino…wait for it…Woody’s Pecker *cue adolescent giggles*. All this is at odds with the menacing figure that Woody is supposed to be- a rough, gruff ball of violence packed in a well-tailored suit. Humor is clearly not a strong point, most of which falls into a category I can only describe as dad jokes. The gangsters sometimes came across as Hindi movie clichés.
But I wouldn’t dismiss the book completely. It has its moments. The author clearly has a lot to share, and his words flow effortlessly on the page. Perhaps the one root problem I can identify is the limitation of a one-off novel format. Some scenes were unnecessarily stretched, and the parts that were interesting were rushed. Many of the relationships between characters were hastily summarized where they could’ve been expanded: the dynamics between Schneider and his colleague, Martin, for instance and even the curious partnership of Woody and his wife Angie (and Angie’s with others). The book also wasted a lot of space on building up the premise and then rushed through the ending in the last 3-4 chapters.
Not quite a diamond in the rough, but rather coal that’s begging to become a diamond, Business Doctors is a good read. I didn’t once feel like stopping, but was left hanging, wondering if it all just led up to this (which was a great life lesson, so I have that to be thankful for).
I give a 3 out of 5 rating to Business Doctors
Title: Business Doctors
Publisher: Booksoarus 2014