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Cain, Tom - 'Carver'
Hardback: 400 pages (Aug. 2011) Publisher: Bantam Press ISBN: 0593067657

Sam Carver is attacked by two armed assailants whilst he is relaxing with a girlfriend on the Greek Island of Mykonos. He successfully beats them off but is then astonished to be blackmailed by the boss of the two men into accepting a contract to kill a billionaire American financier named Malachi Zorn.

The collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, sent shock waves around the world. Never before had such a prestigious bank been allowed to fail and to fail so quickly. It started a domino effect which spread throughout the international financial sector. Various theories were put forward for the reasons it collapsed. This book proposes that Zorn deliberately did it as a piece of financial terrorism using derivatives to accomplish the task and betting on a short term basis that Lehman Brothers would collapse and when it did, he made billions.

Zorn inherited money from his deceased parents and has used it to built up his vast fortune by gambling with derivatives and shorting the world stock markets in anticipation of huge gains. He always seems to make money from these hazardous ventures and he has built up quite a reputation amongst the fat cats of the world who would like to emulate his success. Zorn announces to the financial world that he will launch a special investment fund, in London, that will match his previous success but it will be open only to prospective investors with a minimum of at least 1 billion dollars to invest. Hundreds of the very wealthy are immediately enthusiastic to join up.

Carver goes to London to consider his options and is contacted by his old boss in the SIS who has proposals for him also. There are a couple of side plots: one regarding Chinese Government intelligence operatives who have plans to kill Carver and another storyline involving the Russians.

Tom Cain writes a very fast action packed thriller which you don't want to put down until it is finished. The formula he uses is perfect for many more such thrillers. It is written in a corresponding manner to that used by other successful authors from journalistic backgrounds such as Frederick Forsyth, Gerald Seymour and Stephen Leather. Like them he researches his novels with a real in-depth thoroughness and then writes a story which is very hard to fault for its fluency and attention to detail.

This is the fifth novel featuring the hero Sam Carver and I thought it easily the best yet, the plot was very tightly written and I really enjoyed the background explanations he gave in a non-technical way, of shorting the Market and derivative trading. The story moved like an express train until its ultimate finale. Quite a page turner and I look forward to his future books.

Terry Halligan, England
December 2011

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 8/12/2011 19:17