A competent account of the financial scam and resultant murders that rocked southern California and the nation a few years ago. Written by an L.A. jrnalist who has followed the case from the beginning, this is likely to be the definitive recounting of the nearly unbelievable events. The story of Joe Hunt, the charismatic leader of a group of young, affluent, and ambitious jet-setters, is a classic tale of the Eighties. Determined to ""have it all,"" and willing to go to any extreme to achieve his goal, Hunt enlisted several of his former prep-school friends and set about bilking the greedy and the gullible with promises of immense returns on their investments. When his financial manipulations began to sour, Hunt and several of his by-now-mesmerized followers first liquidated a rival con man, then murdered the father of one of Hunt's recruits. Always the glib explainer, Hunt validated his amoral behavior by formulating what he called ""the Paradox Philosophy."" Boiled down to its essentials, this ""philosophy"" consisted of ""there is no right or wrong, as long as your actions get you what you want."" How the members of the Club eventually began to reconsider their commitment to Hunt, how the participants were apprehended, and how their subsequent trials fared are all retold here in workmanlike, if not especially exciting, prose. Engrossing, but flawed by Horton's failure to investigate thoroughly the society that could not only spawn such antisocial young men, but that could also be taken in by them.