Best known for his seriocomic Charlie Muffin series (Bomb Grade, 1997, etc.) about British Intelligence, Freemantle (writing as Jonathan Evans) first published this suspenser in England (in 1982) under the title Chairman of the Board. Harry Rudd, of the $500,000,000 Boston chain of Best Rest hotels, hears of a faltering British chain headed by Sir Ian Buckland, an inveterate gambler down on his luck and letting his high-class hotels go to seed. Following the death of his wife Angela during a breech birth, Rudd gets a tax layoff for building five new hotels in Texas, meets with Saudi Arabs to fund his expansion into the Caribbean and Middle East, then flies to London to take on Buckland and capture the English chain. But his pitilessly vengeful father-in-law Herbert Morrison, who is on Rudd’s board, plans to run Harry into the earth, if possible. Will Sir Ian be able to fight the Rudd takeover? And if Harry does win, will he really be merely more powerful? Does money really count that much? Freemantle does such an outstanding job of clarifying the financial dealings that the huge shifts of money about the globe take on excitement in themselves. Even so, the story bears a slight patina of datedness in that the even grander economic struggles of today (the Indonesian crunches, etc.) never figure into the big picture.