CASHING IN by Antonia Gowar

CASHING IN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Periodic injections of super-crude sex fail to disguise the essential dullness of this slow-moving business/adultery novel--which delivers page after page of banking hi-technology but (unlike Arthur Hailey's biz-books) never makes the data fascinating . . . or crucial to the plot. John Kilgour, ruthless head of the Banking Operations Sector for N.Y.-based Globe Bank, has just unveiled Autotran, his hot new system for computerized, instantaneous, worldwide fund-transfers. So, while the Autotran technology is explained and re-explained in numbing detail, Gowar also sketches in the life histories of some major Kilgour underlings: handsome, divorced Sandy Lippert, who struck out as Kilgour's Chief Controller but has now regained prestige (if not financial security) as Autotran's main designer; ambitious young VP Lisa Gould; irreverent PR-woman Jessica Moser; and manager Linda Glover, who seems to spend most of her time in bed with Sandy's sometime rival, creepy Rick Schmidt. Finally, however, after sluggish flashbacks and lots of Lisa's shrill stewing about office politics (""Can't let the task force get in my way. Got to keep control. Can't lose control""), two discernible plot lines do emerge: bitter Sandy, wracked by his ex-wife's alimony demands, does some embezzling through a familiar scam; but meanwhile, Sandy and Lisa (despite her happy marriage with lawyer Barry), fall pantingly in love--and daytime trysts, with pulp-romance prose, ensue. So what will Lisa do when she stumbles on evidence of Sandy's crime? Well, since she has also stumbled on evidence of boss Kilgour's adultery, she'll be able to save Sandy from prosecution, become a senior VP, and save her marriage too. Unfortunately, this thin, coincidence-ridden story is not helped by the uncoordinated shards of subplot that surround it (Jessica resigns, Autotran has a breakdown); nor do gratuitous porno-bits--e.g., Linda's lesbian threesome with Rick and a call-girl--compensate for the shortage of drama. So, unless your heart beats a little faster when you read about credit tickets or beneficiary advices, you'll get low-interest returns on this lifeless, often unpleasant bank/bed print-out.

Pub Date: May 14th, 1982
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin