The New York Times best-selling author returns with a gripping, new stand-alone novel ripped from the headlines, in which a young financial advisor and his girlfriend uncover a conspiracy that reaches from Wall Street deep into the halls of government.
Abe Cushman, the evil genius behind a $60 billion Ponzi scheme, has killed himself and taken his secrets to the grave.
For Patrick Lloyd, a young Wall Street advisor at the world’s largest Swiss bank, Cushman’s fall has unexpected - and deadly - repercussions. Lloyd’s girlfriend, Lilly, is directly tied to billions of dollars in losses suffered by Cushman’s most dangerous victims, a group of powerful investors whose identities and dirty finances are well hidden. What Lilly knows can get her and Patrick killed, and now the pair are in a run for their lives that leads to the heart of a clandestine operation, and to a cabal of powerful officials determined to keep their agenda hidden from the public.
With nowhere to turn and no one to trust, Patrick and Lilly must uncover the truth before they become collateral damage in a “financial war” in which casualties are no longer measured in dollars and cents.
©2012 James Grippando (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
I had high hopes for this book in the early going but by the middle point it devolved to a muddled, over-complicated plot that required more thoughtful consideration than I wanted to give it. The narrator did little to help by soundeing very laid back and poorly suited to the story as well as having poor voice-acting that that only slightly differentiated between some of the male characters. While I love Wall Street/high finance novels, by the end of this one, I was ready to wrap it up and move on to my next book.
I have enjoyed several Grippando books in the past but this story is simply way too convoluted. Every character and every aspect of the story is exaggerated to the point where it becomes nearly comical.
Jonathan Davis is a very good narrator and does a good job here as well but I don't think anyone could have saved this book.
It's going to be simple and obvious right? Grab some Bernie Madoff headlines, throw in a square jawed hero and pretty woman in danger straight from central casting, blend, sell some books and then make a bunch money off the movie rights . . . but that's not what this book is.
The characterizations are a little deeper, the resolutions less formula than I expected. The biggest surprise, initially good, was the plot. It takes awhile to get rolling but it was much more intricate than I expected. The author also went to great lengths to make sure all the details were taken care of: no loose ends. When way too many books are slap dash with their plotting, this was refreshing. So far, so good . . .
. . . but the intricacy of the plot goes from being a pleasant surprise to being way too much of a good thing. When yet another player with yet another set of motives adds yet another layer of complexity you may find yourself wishing the book would just end. This is the only time I've ever read a book and thought "boy, I wish the author had spent a little less time on the plot."
-- If you are looking for a the financial equivalent of a techno thriller, where you get deep insights into international finances and scams, this isn't for you. That kind of stuff is just not here.
-- If you are looking for a fast and simple summer read, again it's not for you.
-- If you like your detective/action stories a little more complex than most with characterizations deeper than usual for the genre, you may like this a lot.
It would be interesting to look at Grippando's other books, since he shows a lot of talent and work in crafting this book. The same skills, with a more streamlined plot, might produce quite the adventure novel but unfortunately, for me anyway, this book wasn't that book.
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Mom to his 10-year-old daughter.
I met this author several years ago when I did a story on him for a magazine I edited. Nice guy, good writer and fellow Gator alum. So I want to give him four or five stars every time I read one of his books. The best I could do on this one was three stars because, quite frankly, it was a little hard to follow. The good guys and the bad guys kept trading places and some of it seems like it was made up on the fly. But Grippando did something right because I kept on listening and I kept on being interested. The ending was a bit abrupt but not disappointing. What can I say? A three-star effort and listen.
This was a good story and very different from most intrigues. As someone in the financial field, I found it a good listen but would recommend it to others.
Madoff scheme is dramatic enough, more than enough. Just lift it from the newspapers tweak it a little bit and add a hero and heroine and you're good. Instead this become a non stop crisis a page pot boiler. Couldn't finish it. Narrator was good however.
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