Books by Mark Stevens

THE MELANCHOLY HOWL by Mark Stevens
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 22, 2018

"A smart and indelible crime tale with skillfully interwoven storylines."
In this fifth installment of a thriller series, a Colorado hunting guide and sleuth searches for a missing friend and contends with homicidal smugglers. Read full book review >
LAKE OF FIRE by Mark Stevens
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"The harsh and beautiful conditions of the West can spawn independent thinkers or crazy conspiracy theorists, depending on your viewpoint. The thrilling, irresistible fourth in Stevens' series (Trapline, 2014, etc.) has plenty of both."
A massive blaze in Colorado's Flat Tops Wilderness area bares clues to some dreadful secrets. Read full book review >
TRAPLINE by Mark Stevens
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Nov. 8, 2014

"Allison's third adventure (Buried by the Roan, 2011, etc.) combines a loving portrait of a beautiful area with an ugly, all-too-believable conspiracy that could have been ripped from today's headlines."
Colorado's stunningly beautiful Flat Tops Wilderness hides some nasty secrets. Read full book review >
KING ICAHN by Mark Stevens
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 8, 1993

As this savvy, tellingly detailed rundown on the top gun in the megabuck takeover battles of the 1980's makes clear, even Robert Ringer (Winning Through Intimidation, etc.) could have learned a thing or two from Carl Icahn. Drawing on apparently unrestricted access to the hitherto publicity-shy raider, as well as to his associates, adversaries, and family, Stevens (The Big Six, etc.) offers a sympathetic if unsparing portrait that's longer on professional than personal perspectives. The author gives short shrift to the Princeton- educated Icahn's working-class background, focusing instead on his epic face-offs against the likes of Hammermill Paper, Phillips Petroleum, Texaco, and USX. Stevens's behind-the-scenes accounts of his subject's ability to best fat cats in deal after deal is well worth the price of admission—and the author also takes the measure of a complex man. While giving Icahn full marks for brains and brass, he leaves little doubt that he was a merciless antagonist who gave no quarter. Nor did the arguable propriety of accepting so-called ``greenmail'' (invariably paid at the expense of fellow owners) appear to trouble this outspoken advocate of accountability, good governance, and shareholder rights. Icahn's comeuppance (such as it was) came in the wake of a fight to gain control of TWA. While the erstwhile nemesis of big business escaped with his skin, he found the experience of running a debt-burdened airline to be, if not humbling, at least chastening. Icahn's career as one of Wall Street's most aggressive investors has since taken a new turn, purportedly one in which he attempts to salvage value from failed enterprises. But that is another story—and one that many readers will hope that Stevens finds time to tell. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: April 30, 1991

In 1981, Stevens (Sudden Death, 1989, etc.) authored The Big Eight, an enlightening rundown on the pick-of-the-litter partnerships that audit publicly held corporations, government agencies, philanthropic institutions, and other organizations whose books need independent keeping. Ten years later, he's back with an equally illuminating report on what's been happening at the top of the accounting trade in the interim. As his title suggests, there was a full measure of turmoil in the numbers game during the 1980's. For openers, two major mergers have made an elite octet a beset sextet comprised (in order of 1989 revenues) of: Ernst & Young; Arthur Andersen; Deloitte & Touche; KMPG Peat Marwick; Coopers & Lybrand; and Price Waterhouse. Owing to the high overhead required to maintain a multinational practice, Stevens expects at least a couple of the firms still at the top to join forces by the turn of the century. As he makes clear, moreover, all survivors must cope with pressing problems in court, in house, and in the marketplace. Using inculpatory case studies, the author conveys a good idea of the staggering liabilities that threaten CPA firms as a result of slipshod work for S&Ls and other gaudy casualties of excessively free enterprise. He also documents the efforts of managing partners to mollify captive consulting units whose restive, even rebellious, staffers are convinced their contributions are unappreciated and inadequately rewarded. In the meantime, Stevens notes, the once-clubby calling of big-time accounting has turned competitive as ambitious auditors vie to expand their client rosters. Among other consequences, he implies, this increases the risk of conflicts of interest and raises disturbing questions about some practitioners' professionalism (e.g., are they for hireor sale?). An update that stands on its own as a source of valuable perspectives on a business whose for-the-record opinions can undergird (or undermine) public confidence in the integrity of the financial statements issued by commerce and industry. Read full book review >