Thursday, March 11, 2010

Money To Burn by James Gripando, suspence wrapped around cooperate espionage

Pleas note that this review is of a uncorrected proof copy of the book, so the final publication may be different in some aspects than presented here.

I could have read this book from the beginning to the end without stopping, had it not been for my lovely wife and darling little girl, and my day job, of course. For me, it was everything a suspense novel
should be.

The plot starts with Michael Cantella, 28, pretty well up in the cooperate ladder of Saxton Silver, a Wall Street investment bank, going on a trip in the Caribbean with his girl friend Ivy Layton, a trader in
Ploutus Investment, a large hedge fund that is also Saxton Silver's biggest primer brokerage client.

As they cruise around Bahamas in a charted boat, impulse and passion make them jump at marriage. When Cantella awakes with a hang over after the first night following their wedding, he finds no trace of his wife in the boat. After a few days of intense search it turns out that Ivy had fallen victim to a shark attack and not survived.

Seven years pass by. Michael is married again, and in even higher a position in Saxton, but the emptiness caused by Ivy's death remains. And on his 35th birth day, he logs in to his account, only to find out that all his money has been stolen by some one!

That is just the beginning of a chain of bizarre events to follow. Some sort of cooperate espionage seem to be involved in bringing down the stock value of Saxton, some one tries to hurt Michael physical, his laptop is infected with spyware, his wife files a divorce case, and worst of all, he is suspected to be responsible for Saxton's bankruptcy and the killing of the host of a TV shaw of finance. The rest of the story follows with Michael's desperate attempts to get out his mess.

This plot has many twists and turns. As one twist untwists, a new one appears, making it hard for the reader to guess the end. This book is capable of sustaining the reader's curiosity almost to the end.

The book also discusses a timely issue, how greed brings about misery, particularly relating to the way those big shot finance firms operate. The author makes good use of Michael's grand father's character to express it. Had the author elaborated more along this line, this book would have been an excellent piece
of work. As it is, Money To Burn is very much in the league of popular suspense novels, and one of the best of the kind.

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