Love financial fiction? So do I. And I review them for you!
In this post I’m reviewing…
by Paul Killduff
Big deals are won and lost in the stock market, the dealer floors, and in the bedrooms of London… but will the main character fly too close to the sun in his pursuit of the next big deal?
OVERVIEW: Greg Schneider is an American securities dealer who works at a mid-tier investment bank in London. Blacklisted on Wall Street, he fled to London and aspires for a bigger opportunity at an internationally-renowned firm.
To get that next big opportunity he has to carve out a name for himself as as a big deal deal-maker. The story starts as he pursues his latest opportunity… but things are not always as they seem.
Although he’s thought to have a Midas’ touch, it turns out that he relies heavily on secret recordings made by a proprietor of a high-end fetish service who specializes in working with bankers from The City (who ultimately confess their buisness dealings on secret tapes that tip off Greg to the latest opportunities).
All goes well until one banker dies… then all hell breaks loose as the fetish proprietor deals with the body of the banker. Meanwhile, Greg tries to keep his deals together even though he is pursued by London’s equivalent of the Securities Exchange Commission.
REVIEW: This is Paul Kilduff’s second novel, published in 2000. I haven’t read his other book “Square Mile,” which I believe also is a financial fiction book. What was interesting about this book is: there are no real heroes. At first you’re rooting for the main character but he turns out to be unethical in several ways (not a beloved rogue like the Oceans Eleven characters are, but rather much more despicable). Two other characters you spend a lot of time with are the fetish proprietor and the securities investigator, both of whom are tragic characters at best. So, I enjoyed the book but it was hard to feel like I was in the book and cheering for anyone specifically; rather, I was watching action unfold in front of me and mostly feeling negative about every character. That said, the book was enjoyable and engaging from start to finish, even though you don’t finish with a great sense of satisfaction.
FINANCIAL FICTION QUOTIENT: Paul Kilduff spent several years in an investment company himself so he knows what he is talking about and the financial fiction quotient is evident. Kilduff writes well without necessarily dumbing down for his audience, so readers will generally follow along but there are times when you may not. He’s not as technical as Paul E. Eerdman, but he’s more advanced than Christopher Reich. And, even though the book was written in 2000, it doesn’t feel as other books written in that time (sure, there are times when you notice that it’s been nearly 20 years since the book was written but for the most part it’s pretty timeless).
SUMMARY: Paul Kilduff’s book The Dealer is a solid financial fiction read and I would read it again. As long as you’re not looking for a hero to cheer for, this is an enjoyable and engaging read.