THE VULTURE FUND by Stephen Frey


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 Wall Street and Washington baddies plot--ploddingly--against the public interest in another lurid shocker from investment banker Frey (The Takeover, 1995). Lewis Webster, senior partner at the venerable securities firm Walker Pryce, puts up-and-coming deal-maker Mace McLain in charge of a new $2 billion fund established to make a killing in the market crash he ostensibly believes is imminent. Although mildly disturbed by his superior's timing and analysis of the economy, ambitious Mace accepts the assignment. At the same time, he's detailed to recruit Rachel Sommers, a whip-smart MBA candidate at Columbia, where alumnus Mace is an instructor. Unbeknownst to the yuppie financier, his venal boss is part of a byzantine scheme engineered by CIA Director Malcolm Becker--a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination who needs big money to replace the cash he's misappropriated in aid of his White House aspirations. With evidence of Webster's hitherto unsuspected insider-trading crimes on file, the spymaster has no trouble blackmailing the elder Wall Street statesman into launching the so- called vulture fund. Leaving nothing to chance, Becker has enlisted a gang of Arab terrorists to wreak havoc throughout the US, precipitating a market collapse. Meanwhile, Mace (who's falling for Rachel) learns from the comely grad student that the sources of his fund's capital are not what he was led to believe. His original suspicious confirmed, Mace hits the road and in a West Virginia backwater unearths evidence of the Becker/Webster intrigue. Concurrently, a band of heavily armed intruders seizes control of the nuclear plant that supplies New York City's electricity. Before he can deliver the nation from the evil conspirators, however, Mace must save his own hide and reclaim Rachel from the Becker minions who've abducted her. A lone upright bull takes on lowlife bears and power-mad politicos in a paranoid fantasy almost totally devoid of pace or suspense. (First printing of 150,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 1996
ISBN: 0-525-93986-5
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1996


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