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Financial thriller about a shadowy cabal of bankers who plot an assault on America’s monetary system.

Just another cashed-out high-tech millionaire with too much time on his hands and more ambition than he knows what to do with, Wynn Bryant long ago promised his older sister, Sybel, that he would give her anything she wanted for her birthday each year. Since Sybel is deeply involved with an ecumenical group called Sant’Egidio, these birthday gifts have often involved help for the poor. But this year, Sybel makes a different request: Wynn must go to her husband, Grant, who happens to be the governor of Florida, and do whatever he says. Wynn subsequently agrees to run for a seat in the House of Representatives—a seat just opened since its current occupant is in a coma—with one mission from Grant: vote against the upcoming Jubilee Amendment, a bill that would relieve Third World countries of their financial debts to the US. Meanwhile, a group of politicians aligned with Sant’Egidio has enlisted Jackie Havilland, a rudderless employee at an Orlando detective agency, to investigate the actions of an immensely powerful hedge-fund banker, Pavel Hayek, who is part of a movement dedicated to the defeat of the Jubilee Amendment. Wynn and Jackie slowly become privy to a Ludlum-esque world-destroyer of a conspiracy: an operation called Tsunami, in which some immensely wealthy financiers use the shady but very legal practice of hedge-fund–trading to knock out the foundation of the American dollar and make a killing in the panic that’s sure to follow. While he’s at it, the author makes a few thoughtful points about the darkly immoral consequences of today’s deregulated international banking bazaars and provides an excellent setup . . .

. . . but fails to follow through. Bunn (The Great Divide, 2000, etc.) aims for a higher purpose than you’re likely to find in most thrillers. Still, this one’s mix of heavily technical detail and strong characters (à la David Lindsey) doesn’t save it from ultimately falling flat..

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 2001
ISBN: 0-385-49616-8
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2001


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