When a retired CIA operative goes after a Machiavellian investment expert, it's personal.
Premier New York investment banker St. John Larrimer wears Savile Row suits, serves on the boards of the city's leading nonprofits, and is amassing a fortune by bilking his millionaire clients. He openly disdains Bernie Madoff as rashly greedy; Larrimer steals by spoonfuls and feels no remorse because he considers many of his clients to be thieves as well. In the wake of losses reported by the likes of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, Larrimer's profitable statements look suspicious, and clients begin calling with concerned questions. Among these is French investment banker Jean-Baptiste, who, after learning of Larrimer's criminality, takes his own life. Also burned by Larrimer, though on a much smaller scale, is retired CIA operative Louis Morgon (The Resistance, 2012, etc.). Now living in France, Morgon feels an affinity for the doomed Jean-Baptiste and decides to investigate. He's in good company, since French police Jean Renard and FBI Agent Salvator Morconi are already on the case. Morgon's unique people skills are key in his questioning of Lorraine Usher, Larrimer's personal assistant, whom he gently manipulates by intimating her arrest until she tells him everything she knows. By now, Larrimer has vanished, and Morgon continues to use Lorraine as a resource as international victims and accomplices are tracked down and confronted. Morgon's elaborate plan to ensnare Larrimer involves forged art, tech savvy, and a team effort.
Morgon's fifth adventure impresses both as thriller and morality play, building a memorable and complex tapestry of greed and culpability.