MAN IN THE MIDDLE by Ken Morris

MAN IN THE MIDDLE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Wall Street–refugee Morris brings an appealingly wild-eyed enthusiasm to his first novel, a nonetheless formulaic and credibility-straining financial thriller.

When attorney and family friend Jason Ayers offers down-on-his-luck nice-guy Peter Neil a job with his client, Stenman Partners, Peter is unaware that his mother’s recent death is one of three connected to the top hedge fund. SEC investigator Oliver Dawson knows but can’t do anything about it. Blocked at every turn by the Director of Enforcement’s Special Assistant, a Stenman mole, he can’t prove the connection or anything else, despite incriminating papers sent to him anonymously by Peter’s mother. Trouble is, all potential witnesses mysteriously die. After briefly reconnecting with Ayers’s daughter, Kate, for a night of great sex, Peter is plunged into the manic world of trading, making millions for the firm in the course of a day, bankrupting Third World nations, through currency trading, overnight. Exotic, mysterious, lethal beauty Sarah Guzman, who brings the firm billions in dirty money from drug cartels, suspects that Peter received smoking-gun documents from his mother; he did, but he hasn’t looked at them. Despite the firm’s armed mercenaries and all the shady goings-on, when he’s approached by Dawson—who’s discredited and officially off the case, but secretly reporting to the Director—Peter declines to turn over the papers, at least until the tracking devices he discovers in his sneakers change his mind. Now a threat to the firm, Peter is framed for rape and murder through the prescient theft, months earlier, of his microwave oven and the sheets he slept on with Kate, who, having just passed the bar, shows up to prove his innocence by announcing that her fluids will be found on the sheets as well. With the help of Kate, Dawson, and the SEC, Peter sets up a risky and elaborate sting that brings down Stenman Partners—after which Peter and Dawson get their respective girls.

A breathless, giddy, over-the-top tour of popular cliché.

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 1-890862-25-8
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Bancroft Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2003