Wednesday, June 29, 2011

MERGER by Sanjay Sanghoee

The writing may not be very crisp, but I can forgive that flaw when the plot is as tense as this one. Published before the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, this corporate thriller depicts greedy, slimy CEOs at their worst. The primary villain is Vikram Suri, head of media giant TriNet, which is anxious to acquire Luxor. The author introduces a number of characters at the beginning of the book, so that it is a little difficult to sort out who works for whom and if there are any good guys. Tom Carter is a VP at Morgenthal Winters, the company that is brokering the acquisition. Amanda Fleming is a reporter looking for her first big story. (Why does she smoke? It's so unappealing.) She is also Tom's potential love interest, as he and she, with completely different motivations, team up in an attempt to uncover some fishiness at the bottom of the TriNet/Luxor deal. Amanda has a convenient ex-boyfriend who's an FBI agent, so that now we have all of the necessary elements to solve the crime—an insider, a journalist, and law enforcement. Actually, I should say "crimes," because there's also a murder and a corrupt government official. OK, enough with the cynicism, because I enjoyed this book in spite of myself. Sanghoee obviously knows the world of financial institutions and knows how to withhold, then reveal, critical tidbits to keep us hanging on.

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