THE PROTÉGÉ by Stephen Frey


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Frey’s skillful, crowded novel revisits Christian Gillette’s high-stakes investment firm, Everest Capital, amid in-house treachery and mafia blackmail.

Gillette’s protégé, soon-to-be managing partner David Wright, commits murder on the first pages of Frey’s intriguing tale, accidentally killing a prostitute during their S&M session in Manhattan’s West Village. Wright finds himself instantly dogged by members of the Carbone family, who possess pictures and blackmail him into revealing his mentor’s whereabouts. Gillette took over the helm at Everest upon the murder of Bill Donovan by the former CEO of McGuire & Co. (The Chairman, Mar. 2005). He’s still searching for answers concerning his father, Senator Clayton Gillette, who died in a plane crash 16 years ago. In spite of Gillette’s professional savvy—in one day he bags an NFL franchise and the five-billion-dollar Wallace family account from Chicago, among other boons—he lets himself be misled by corrupt former CIA agent Norman Boyd, who’s in cahoots with the Carbones, into believing stories about his family history. Meanwhile, Gillette keeps busy by goading his wolf pack into acquiring new multimillion-dollar funds and even flirting with the new managing partner, Allison Wallace. A personable guy with little time, he alienates pop-star girlfriend Faith but is loyal and brave when best friend Quentin Stiles needs him. The slightly mushy ending lets down the rest of this sharp-edged tale.

A series character shapes up and even shows a bit of humanity.

Pub Date: Dec. 27th, 2005
ISBN: 0-345-48058-9
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2005


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