A Calculated Risk

( 6 )

Overview

"A dizzying, enjoyable caper...After reading this hard-to-put down thriller, you may put all your money in your mattress."
LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS
When financial executive Verity Banks' latest proposal is axed by her boss, she decides to show how easy it is to break through automated security, hide money, and then show senior management where it is. Then her former mentor, financial wizard, Dr. Zooltan Tor ups the ante, and dares her to steal a billion dollars, invest it to earn ...

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Overview

"A dizzying, enjoyable caper...After reading this hard-to-put down thriller, you may put all your money in your mattress."
LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS
When financial executive Verity Banks' latest proposal is axed by her boss, she decides to show how easy it is to break through automated security, hide money, and then show senior management where it is. Then her former mentor, financial wizard, Dr. Zooltan Tor ups the ante, and dares her to steal a billion dollars, invest it to earn thirty million in three months, then put the original billion back before anyone notices. To heighten the challenge, Tor and Verity will compete against each other, though Tor gives Verity an edge: she can use a computer for her theft, but he cannot....
A BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH-CLUB ALTERNATE SELECTION

Financial executive Verity Banks' plot to heist corporate funds begins as a vengeful joke on her bosses. But when her former mentor, financial wizard Dr. Zoltan Tor, steps in with a proposition, the gag becomes a dangerous billion dollar gambit. . . . A New York Times Notable Book.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When Verity (True) Banks was 22, she was the highest-ranking woman executive at the world's largest bank. Now, 10 years later, she is contemplating a caper that will reveal the bank's security to be inadequate, and that will surely earn her a position at the Federal Reserve. Before she can carry out her plan to break into the bank's electronic security system, her erstwhile mentor, Dr. Zoltan Tor, reappears with a challenge: Which of them can steal $1 billion, and invest it to earn $30 million in only three months? (Of course, the money will be returned, and no one will be injured.) In the process, Tor and True, with help from a crew of brilliant eccentrics, stumble on a plan by members of the Vagabond Club CEOs of major corporations-,to take over the Bank of the World, possibly sending the U.S. economy into a tailspin. Alternately sounding like a romance novel ( . . . he was tanned and golden, his coppery hair tumbling to the collar of his white silk shirt) and a text on banking (All federally chartered banks must be members of the Fed, and are required to maintain insurance deposits there. . . ), True's story proceeds haltingly, disrupted by frequent recaps and descriptions of her emotional states (my mood progressed from real fury-to intense determination-to righteous indignation-to helpless frustration-to miserable desperation-at last to hopeless exhaustion). Although Neville (The Eight) obviously knows a great deal about the world of finance, she fails to deliver the goods as a novelist. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Neville's popular first novel, The Eight LJ 3/1/89, featured dual story lines, one historical and one contemporary. Neville uses the same contrivance in these interspersed stories about schemes to amass great wealth: a clever tale about the early Rothschild banking dynasty and a much longer present-day story about bank executive Verity Banks's efforts to steal funds from her own institution in order to make a point about flawed computer security. The stakes are raised sky high, however, when Verity's charismatic mentor from years past shows up and challenges her to a bet that involves stealing and investing a billion dollars. Romance and riches ensue for these fetching characters in a farfetched plot. Good escapist fare.-- Will Hepfer, SUNY at Buffalo Libs.
Mary Carroll
Former Bank of America vice president and international computer consultant Neville--whose first novel, "The Eight", blended medieval mystery with twentieth-century technology and climbed the best-seller list--is back. Here she mixes classical romantic ambivalence with high-tech financial shenanigans. Verity Banks heads electronic funds transfer at Bank of the World in San Francisco. When her superiors reject her proposal for upgraded computer security, she decides to demonstrate the system's flaws by stealing money from wire transfers and hiding it within the bank's daily flow of credits and debits. Then computer guru Dr. Zoltan Tor--who taught Banks the cybernetic ropes a dozen years before--calls with similar concerns about Wall Street, and a wager develops: over a four-month period, with Banks using computers on the West Coast and Tor using other tools on the East Coast, each will try to steal a billion dollars and earn thirty million dollars on the cash flow. Banks, Tor, and their quirky helpers will win reader sympathy; the corporate clones and connivers who get in their way are slimy enough to draw hisses. Love and money; San Francisco, New York, the Greek islands; wheeling, dealing, and stealing from corrupt bankers and financiers: "A Calculated Risk" seems sure to generate substantial reader interest.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345386823
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1994
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 685,622
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 6.81 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 3, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A Calculated Risk by Katherine Neville This book is about a wag

    A Calculated Risk by Katherine Neville

    This book is about a wager.

    Verity Banks is a woman who is at the pinnacle of her career. She has no-where else to rise up in the executive ladder. When her proposal to step up the Bank of The World's computer security project is axed by her boss, Kislick Willingly, she decides to hide some money in a place where no one will find it - inside the bank's own computer system. She'll then point it out to senior management how easy such a theft is. To fulfill her plan, Verity recruits her protege and financial wizard, Dr. Zolian Tor.

    And here lies the wager: Tor challenges Verity to steal more money from the bank than he will earn as he steals money from the SEC. If Verity loses, she'll have to leave everything and work for Tor for a year and one day. Is Verity wins, Tor will get her appointed to The Federal Reserve Bank.

    The book is poorly written, narrated from a Verity's universal first person point of view. It has some information on the Rothschilds, the world's first bankers - but that plot is never fully developed.

    It is an easy read, but after "Eight," it was a disappointment.

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  • Posted May 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Not as exhilirating as "The Eight" but inventive, fast moving, and considering our recent economy, perhaps inspirational.

    The lead character is reminiscent of "The Eight." Great for bankers, techies, and anyway in need of escapist fare. Would make an excellent indie film.

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  • Posted November 23, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    An interesting primer for the financially inclined

    This is a good introduction for anyone who doesn't know too much about the world of high finance. Neville explains her plot in clear, unambiguous prose. <BR/><BR/>Would, however, that she could flesh out her characters the way she does her banking terminology. They are all cardboard cutouts, to one degree or another - some of them have a little more personality than others, but it seems that Neville has been working in those cold heartless banks just a little too long. <BR/><BR/>The three-star rating is for her explanations of financial terms and transactions; her previous book ("The Eight") was far better.

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    Posted July 29, 2011

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    Posted January 20, 2009

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    Posted March 16, 2009

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