Where Angels Prey

Where Angels Prey is a novel by Ramesh S Arunachalam. Please refer to www.whereangelsprey.com for more information

Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Realistic Financial Thriller Loosely Inspired by Real Life in India, June 10, 2015 by D. Donovan

This review is from: Where Angels Prey (Paperback)

The world is facing one of its greatest financial crises yet, but only in one country - India - is a boom happening in an unlikely industry: microfinancing. It's this fact which comes to the attention of Robert Bradlee, senior correspondent with The New York Post, who decides to personally investigate these strange facts; only to discover that what seems like a wonderfully successful altruistic business of providing financial services for small business in poor or rural communities in reality hides a deadly truth.

What Robert discovers isn't financial opportunity or social grace, but a program that holds devastating implications for India's poor.

The frightening part of this story doesn't lie in the fact that this novel is a realistic financial thriller with a global setting so much as that it's loosely inspired by real life in Andhra Pradesh, India, and holds alarming implications for business and social causes alike.

For this reason alone (in addition to the fact that the story is an edge-of-your-seat compelling read), Where Angels Prey is a recommended pick for thriller readers looking for something slight different: a realistic saga which will strike a little too close to home for many cognizant of Wall Street involvements in the lives of Third World residents.

Compelling. Waiting for a Sequel, June 9, 2015, by Amazon Customer

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This review is from: Where Angels Prey (Paperback)

Angels Prey is a compelling story which spans from the poorest regions of India to the most affluent international financiers.


The impoverished characters who exist in a very corrupt area and must pay exorbitant usury to borrow money for needed expenses. One woman couldn't get her daughter released from the hospital without borrowing funds at 40% interest. This on top of other needed loans to support her family and repair her roof.

Ultimately when she couldn't repay her loans in a timely manner she was so backed into a corner both financially and socially that she committed suicide to try to save her daughters from ruination by corrupt money lenders.

She was unfortunately not unique. Many such suicides occurred across the poorest districts and gained much international attention.


Wealthy financial institutions sold a bill of goods in developed nations such as Singapore and the US of micro financing to impoverished people who would then supposedly own shares in their company. Instead the owners and investors gained ill-gotten wealth while the poor borrowers ended up behind the eight ball.


The reporters and district manager who courageously blew the lid off the scandal made the story come alive. The resulting sanctions and arrests were only partially effective in curbing the criminal victimization of India's poor as the MFI owners simply reinvented their businesses and went forth again to profit from the unfortunate.

The tale was riveting and well written. I would suggest a glossary of unfamiliar terms for the western reader.

The author wrote from the first person perspective of each central character. This was very helpful in gaining understanding of their experience.

I found even the majority of the "evil" characters relatable in their extenuating circumstances.

Bravo. Perhaps there will be a sequel with a better outcome for the downtrodden

This is so totally believable!!! by Sue in CT on June 9, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

'Where Angels Prey' is a fantastic name for this book by Ramesh S Arunachalam! A lot of books have fitting titles but I was just struck with awe by how perfect the title (and cover) was for this book when I realized that what was seen as a blessing, like an angel was sent from heaven to save the poor in India (and other countries) which turned out to be predators just looking for their next prey. Although I normally enjoy action packed, thriller/suspense novels, this book had me captivated from beginning to end. I also want to be clear about it, the cover has angle wings on it and uses the word 'angel' in the title but it is not a religious story. It is a fiction (based on some facts) about a microfinance companies, murder, suicide, corruption, greed, and Robert (Bob) Bradlee who is the main character and a senior economics correspondent with The New York Post.

The author did a wonderful description for the book that you can read yourself so I won't recap the story but to say there is so much more than even he tells you. As I read it, I could see where it was going on many occasions but there are definitely some surprises. For one thing, it is very detailed but not overpowering where I was lost in all the details. I also loved hearing the 'victims' side in the first person narration which really pulled at my heartstrings so much more than just knowing that their were many victims and what happened to them. What was most surprising is how hard it was to remember it is fiction and how it emotionally involved me by my feeling everything from pure sadness to being angry at how unfair it was and no one was (or should be) above the law no matter how rich or how much money they contributed.

There are many characters in the story as it involves companies and people from around the globe but all their information is told very clearly in the story of who they are and how they fit in. Many times, that is all that is told so their is no connection with them however the main and secondary characters are more developed. I liked the main character, Bob and was rooting for him but I was surprised I emotionally connected to the victims.

I thought the book was totally believable and so were the characters. I did notice a couple of errors in spacing between words which really didn't take away from the story. There was no explicit sex, deaths, or foul language. I thought it was an excellent book and recommend it to anyone who enjoys corruption/crime stories.

Good read, June 7, 2015, by Deborah B.

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This review is from: Where Angels Prey (Kindle Edition)

Where Angel’s Prey was a look into how a program started out for the good can turn so horribly wrong. To try and save the poor from loan sharks, a program is started to help them meet their needs with “better” loans. Sounds like a good plan, right? Greed can make the best of intentions turn sour. The new loan companies actually seem worse than the loan sharks and people start turning to suicide when all hope seems lost.

Two journalists will work hard to get to the bottom of the corruption and expose those at the top. It is a conspiracy that crosses national lines and will keep the reader enthralled to the end. There were a lot of characters that were introduced in this book; however, it is the journalists that stand out. I loved how they were not willing to stop until the truth came out. You could just feel their determination to get the job done so that justice could be served.

I give this book 4 ****. The author wove the plot in a way that the reader was made to feel like they were right there while it was happening. Ramesh Arunachalam has the ability to hold your interest with the way the story flows. The writing technique feels like you are being entertained and taught at the same time, and I always love to learn something new. While the story is fiction, something similar has happened in the past.

Not Your Typical Business Conspiracy Book!, June 7, 2015, by Charity Rowell

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This review is from: Where Angels Prey (Kindle Edition)

The micro-finance industry was intended to help poor people in poverty stricken countries get the funds that they needed to build businesses and careers; however, two reporters discover that micro-lenders are exploiting the people that they are supposed to be helping.

Inspired by events during the micro-finance craze in 2010, Arunachalam takes his readers on a journey that spans the globe. Readers get a glimpse into the lives of some of the borrowers as they struggle to make ends meet while paying off their debts; the government officials that are fighting to put an end to the micro-lenders' seedy practices; the people that are employed by these micro-lenders; and the two reporters, one from the U.S. and one from India, that are searching for evidence to bring down the micro-lending empire that has achieved its success on the backs of the people it is supposed to be helping.

Where Angels Prey by Ramesh S. Arunachalam is well-written, compelling, and horrifying. Readers will find themselves touched by the borrowers' plights, feel anger towards the greed exhibited by the micro-lenders in the book, and see a ray of hope as the journalistic duo discovers more about the micro-finance empire.

Where Angels Prey is a short-read, and is difficult to put down once you get started. It is easy to get drawn into the story and feel for the borrowers as Arunachalam's passion for the subject is apparent and contagious. I am not usually a fan of "business/political conspiracy" books; however, this book is anything but your typical business conspiracy book. Where Angels Prey focuses more on the stories of the people and communities touched by the micro-lenders' actions and the socioeconomic consequences of corrupt micro-lenders, rather than the micro-lenders' sketchy accounting practices; I was surprised and pleased by this, and I am happy to make this book a permanent fixture in my expanding ebook library.