A tepid, by-the-numbers thriller set in the world of Enron and WorldCom.
“TriNet Communications was a monster,” writes debut novelist and sometime investment banker Sanghoee. “With holdings in cable, entertainment, technology, fiber optic networks, and long-distance telephone services, the fifteen-year-old company had become a juggernaut in the world of media and telecommunications.” Because Wall Street likes monsters, everyone in the money game loves Vikram Suri, a suave Oxbridge/Harvard type who runs TriNet and has big plans: he’s going to continue the blitzkrieg-aggressive merger spree he began on taking over the company six years previous, and then he’s going to sell out, quietly and quickly, and disappear to some South Seas island that has no extradition treaties. Good enough. Suri is a cool cat, but he’s got a wide mean streak, evidenced by a fondness for dispatching enemies in the most brutal of ways, and usually minus a testicle or two apiece. Suri’s enemies sometimes don’t know they’re his enemies, which makes him seem particularly ruthless in a kind of James Bond–baddie way. Arrayed for and against him are investment bankers Steve Brandt and Tom Carter, foot soldiers in a deal worth a bazillion bucks; Craig Michaels (“Nick Nolte in a good suit”), who despises brown people but loves green money; sexy Suzie Goldwater, an SEC investigator (who “had worked for a year at an advertising firm before cajoling her one and only daddy to land her this job”); New York Times reporter Amanda Fleming; and a host of other players, mostly minor, to provide a pool of villains and victims. Will Suri get away with it? Stay tuned as, in bite-sized episodes, he and his henchmen smuggle gold, double-cross anyone who crosses their path, relieve their foes of various anatomical units and have a fine old time to the last, when finally, finally, instant karma settles on our dark prince and puts a crimp in all his fun.
And an end, thankfully, to this predictable tale.