In this sequel, an investment banker contends with thievery, love, and golf.
Someone is stealing from Smithers and Clements, a New York investment bank, and the firm’s Ashley Turner is on the case. The 26-year-old banker discovers that an employee of Smithers and Clements is illegally authorizing loans of over $1 million, investing that money elsewhere, and then returning it, plus interest, to the company. Meanwhile, Bruce Jackson, from Hewitt Jackson, another investment firm, who’s aiding Ashley’s investigation, falls in love with Donna Whitehall, who works in the Smithers and Clements legal department. Bruce’s mother thinks Donna is a “hussy,” so he leaves the family firm for Smithers and Clements. Meanwhile, Barbara Wright gets a call from Brad Quincy, Jack Townsend’s attorney, about joining her law firm because his client wants access to Ashley. Jack, introduced in Vallar’s (Keep Playing, 2016) first novel, is a pro golfer and former boyfriend of Ashley. After three years apart, the two reconnect to discuss the Townsend Turner Foundation, formed when they were just 17, and sparks fly. And so it goes. The author writes knowledgeably and vividly about golf and the business world—mergers and acquisitions, accounting checks and balances, birdies and bogeys. But this is a confusing tale. The third-person narrative shifts among all of the major characters and more, often within chapters. The reasons behind their actions are vague and surprising, as when, after two dates, Bruce declares his love for Donna and severs ties with his family. The story is told in a series of declarative sentences—“a bad guy, who had committed at least two murders, had a hate for Jack”—that drain tension from the scenes. Most obstacles are quickly overcome, proving that, for the rich, life comes easy. In addition, Vallar’s admirable attention to detail sometimes overwhelms the plot that readers will be trying to decipher.
A corporate romance that should appeal to accountants, investment bankers, and golf fans.