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by Brad Meltzer

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-446-52729-7

What begins as a tidy scheme to steal a measly $3 million from a closely held private bank quickly spins out of control—in the biggest and wildest of Meltzer’s paranoid action fantasies (The First Counsel, 2001, etc.).

All Oliver Caruso has to show for his four years as an associate at Greene & Greene is $81,000 in family medical debt, a key to the private elevator, and access to several of his senior colleagues’ passcodes. When his brother Charlie, another check-chaser at Greene & Greene, shows him how to drain an account so small nobody, including Martin Duckworth, its late signatory, will ever miss the money, he puts up token resistance. But finding that his boss won’t even recommend him for business school, Oliver throws in with Charlie, and in no time at all, the two have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Dangerously beyond, in fact, since the modest $3 million they’ve spirited into an offshore account they thought nobody would notice has inexplicably ballooned into an alarmingly noticeable $313 million. Suddenly everybody wants a piece of Oliver and Charlie: G&G security chief Shep Graves, bulldog private eye Jo Ann Lemont, and a pair of Secret Service Agents who seem to stand for something more than truth, justice, and the American way. When a fatality in Grand Central Station bumps the stakes up to the toxic zone, the brothers take off for Miami in hope of finding Duckworth still alive at his last reported address. Instead, they find his alluring daughter and a monster scam worth zillions—and it isn’t long before the well-armed folks on their trail find them. A satisfyingly helter-skelter shootout in the bowels of the Magic Kingdom rings down the curtain.

“This isn’t a stupid book!” Oliver rages before he has any inkling just how deep he’s in. He’s only half-right. It’s an exceptionally well-judged stupid book.