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Another dull excursion into big-business dealing by the author of High Gloss (1979). This time Engel's scope, however, is international--as Walter Cort, a hustling, Manhattan-based, Polish-born consultant, tries to acquire the consumer appliance business of a West German conglomerate, Magnatel, Ltd. As an alumnus of Auschwitz, Cort has qualms about his German contacts--particularly client Heinrich Von Ackermann, a shady industrialist with death-camp secrets. Nonetheless, Cort does use Von A.'s $12 million to achieve his own dream of becoming an operational executive with equity, while also securing financing from a Mafia-connected Arab (whose kinky sexual appetites provide the excuse for several set-piece orgies). Helping Cort in his scheme: go-getting blonde Katy Rochester, a Harvard MBA who, of course, winds up in his bed as well as his boardroom. But when it turns out that Katy (who roomed with Helga Von Ackermann at the B School) has made a dirty deal to diddle her mentor out of his prize--via a mall-order venture which depletes the corporation's cash flow and "" imperils Cort's capacity to amortize his debt to Von Ackermann--things get sticky. Finally, though, Katy confesses all, sides with the angels, and saves the day with a public appeal for fiscal succor (reminiscent of The Solid Gold Cadillac). An unaccountably pallid and surprisingly improbable picture of Big Business--un-enhanced by the mechanical sex and the attempts at brand-name chic à la Judith Krantz.

Pub Date: March 13th, 1981
Publisher: St. Martin's