Hotshot investment banker Warren Hunter is poised to pull off a trillion dollar deal that will launch a worldwide, Internet-trumping communications system. But a series of events with ties to World War II threaten to undo his grand scheme.
Hunter is ruthless. He is capable of bringing the most powerful competitor to his knees. But he has a soft spot in his heart for his more down-to-earth older brother, Rick, a tech startup veteran struggling in the post-recession economy. And both siblings are devoted to their ailing father, Dutch, who, as a young B-24 navigator, participated in the liberation of a Nazi POW camp, since he spoke German, and was traumatized there by something about which he has never spoken. After a walk-in client of Rick's, an elderly Jewish woman with her own mysterious connection to the war years, is killed in a car accident, everyone has a stake in unraveling secrets from the past. Pocalyko's first novel has all the pieces in place for a satisfying thriller, including such characters as an ambitious U.S. senator's aide once married to Rick, a Hungarian secret agent targeting Warren and, back in pre-WWII Germany, a Jewish Egyptian scientist-turned–financial genius. But even with all that is at stake, including the global economy, the book fails to create any real urgency or satisfying intensity. Long stretches are simply dull.
Pocalyko, CEO of the Monticello Capital boutique investment bank, knows of what he writes. But the story is hampered by a flat, colorless style.