The Fund
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The Fund

3.6 9
by H.T. Narea

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U.S. defense intelligence operative Kate Molares is investigating a suspicious international money trail. Her instincts place her at the center of a plot involving a frightening new kind of terrorism--financial terrorism-- perpetrated by a handsome Middle Eastern hedge fund mogul. His goal is to bring the global economy to its knees.

Kate's mission takes her from

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U.S. defense intelligence operative Kate Molares is investigating a suspicious international money trail. Her instincts place her at the center of a plot involving a frightening new kind of terrorism--financial terrorism-- perpetrated by a handsome Middle Eastern hedge fund mogul. His goal is to bring the global economy to its knees.

Kate's mission takes her from D.C. to Venezuela, from Cuba to Connecticut. She must race to piece together this global puzzle…or risk the catastrophic destruction of the world's financial markets.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
International investment banker Narea brings 20 years of financial experience to his less than successful debut, a near-future thriller that plays off current anxieties about technology gone wrong and the vulnerabilities of Wall Street. At the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C., 30-year-old analyst Kate Molares uncovers key pieces of information that hint at a vast conspiracy against America and the West. In Europe, Nebibi Hasehm, a charismatic financier born in Milan to immigrant Egyptian parents, plots to bring down the U.S. through its corrupt and overextended financial system. Hasehm orchestrates a diverse anti-U.S. alliance, which includes traditional foes like Cuba and more recent adversaries like Venezuela and al-Qaedaesque Muslim extremists. Weapons at his disposal range from dirty bombs to a serum that enhances the fervor of the men set to carry out his evil schemes. Though Hasehm comes across as more than a cardboard villain, the other elements of this predictable effort never rise above cliché. (May)
Library Journal
Nebibi Hasehm, mastermind of a Sharia-compliant hedge fund, is determined to change the course of Western history. With over $30 billion at his disposal, he intends to fund Islamic political activity around the world in a quest to destabilize financial markets. His immediate goal, however, is a Muslim reconquest of Spain. Standing in his way is his former lover, Kate Molares, a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst. After a Basque terrorist attack in Madrid, she follows a money trail from Caracas and Havana, where the Cubans have developed a serum to increase aggression, to Switzerland and on to Gibraltar. There a Sovereignty Summit will attract two royal cousins, Prince Charles of England and Prince Felipe of Spain. A global catastrophe awaits all. VERDICT Flawed by excessive and often pedestrian exposition and the relentless translation of foreign words (even for a simple phrase like "Si, señor"), this debut financial thriller by the son-in-law of the late Paul Erdman (The Crash of '79, The Last Days of America) has a doomsday conclusion meant to be cautionary. Perhaps investment bankers are the world's true terrorists!—Ron Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson

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Product Details

Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
6.64(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.44(d)

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THE MORNING WAS NOT GETTING off to a good start. The phone, not the alarm clock, woke her up at 4:20 A.M. She raised her head, opened her eyes in the pitch dark bedroom just enough to see the time, and then rolled over, hoping it was a wrong number. She buried her head back in the warm soft pillow, her chestnut hair tangled in all different directions. The answering machine picked up but she wasn’t happy with what she heard. It was a familiar voice.

“¡Mierda!” Shit! she muttered under her breath, her head now hidden under the duvet. As a rule, she only swore in foreign languages, so that those around her wouldn’t know of her transgression. Not that there was anyone in her bed to hear her swear; she’d been waking up alone in that bed for longer than she cared to recall.

Katerina Molares—Kate to her friends and colleagues—could never get used to waking up for work when the moon was still high in the sky. It was another cold, gray December morning in the Washington, D.C., metro area. She had planned to go to work a little late today, to ease back in after four days of a lazy beach vacation. No such luck. Those types of plans never seemed to work out right.

“Why should anyone have to get up at this god-forsaken hour?” she said to herself. All around the Beltway, countless other sleepy souls wondered the same thing as their early drives took them to the CIA, the White House, the FBI, and in the case of Kate, to the Defense Intelligence Agency—DIA for short. The rest of Washington—the legislators, the judiciary, the executive branch, and those that lobby them—all began their days early, yet in comparison, their hours were much more reasonable.

That familiar voice started leaving a message. “Rise and shine, Kate.” It was her boss, Bill DuBois, using his best cheerful voice almost like a taunt. If he called her at home, something was up.

She fumbled for the phone next to her bed. “Hey, Bill…” Her voice was groggy. “A little early for you to be making the rounds, isn’t it?”

“Not my choice. I’m sitting here in pj’s, making wake-up calls. Another hour of sleep would’ve been just fine by me, too, believe me. The SecDef woke me up ten minutes ago on my secure line. Seems like there’s been an ‘incident.’ So skip the jog this morning, Kate, and get to the office, pronto. Turn on CNN in the meantime. It’ll give you the gist of today’s agenda.” Kate grabbed the remote by her bed and turned on the TV. Since they weren’t on a secure phone line, Bill couldn’t give any further details. The jogging comment had been a joke, as he knew that she didn’t do anything before 9 A.M., other than drink coffee.

“Funny, Bill. Okay, I’ll see you there at five.” She jumped into the shower as soon as she hung up the phone.

In the small nucleus of D.C.’s high-level intelligence professionals, Kate certainly stood out. Her mother was American and her father was from Venezuela, a country that wasn’t always the most politically stable or on the best of terms with her employer, the U.S. of A. Her parents had met as PhD students at Georgetown University in the 1970s—he in Economics studies and she in International Security studies. From there, they’d both landed assignments at the United Nations in New York City, where Kate was born thirty years ago.

Kate was their only child and had benefited from their undivided devotion. She had an olive complexion like her father, and her eyes were deep green, like her mother’s. Her slender face, accented by strong cheekbones and a chiseled nose that reminded some people of a young Meryl Streep, was framed by thick straight dark chestnut hair, which was usually tied in a perfunctory ponytail. Her quick smile always put others at ease.

Kate exuded an easy natural beauty and style that was all the more charming because she was mostly unaware that eyes turned to stare at her when she walked in a room. She had been a swimmer through her college years and still maintained her athletic frame. Her style of dress was simple but feminine, favoring tailored slacks with silk blouses, which—depending on how hard the wind blew—showed off more or less of her healthy figure.

She looked in the bathroom mirror. Given the ridiculously early hour, with her hair sticking out in several directions, and groggy eyes, her natural beauty had not yet emerged to greet the day. She wondered how, in the few short hours following her vacation, she could already look like hell.

Kate brushed her hair with one hand and fumbled through her closet with the other. She grabbed the simplest thing possible because she wasn’t in the mood for fussy today: slacks, blouse, and jacket.

Kate stared at the TV as she brushed her teeth, watching live reports from Madrid’s airport. Not a pretty picture, she thought, and now she understood why Bill had woken her up. She figured everybody had been called into the office earlier than usual so they could spend the next couple of hours sifting through the megabytes of info traffic that poured in from every U.S. embassy around the world. The real headache would start when they had to figure out exactly which parts of all that data should be included in the President’s security briefing. A double shot of caffeine was definitely in order for the commute this morning.

As she left her apartment, images from Madrid flashed through Kate’s mind, prompting her to ask the same question that every other U.S. intelligence officer was thinking this morning, at this very same hour. Could this have been prevented?


Copyright © 2011 by H. T. Narea

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Meet the Author

H. T. NAREA, an international investment banker, has focused his career on global financial markets. During his 20+ years of experience, which includes his tenure as a senior executive at JP Morgan Chase in New York, Narea has advised governments, companies, and banks around the world on international financial issues. He also teaches international finance at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. Narea got his start in fiction by researching and editing several books by his father-in-law, Paul Erdman, the New York Times bestselling creator of the financial thriller. The Fund is Narea's first novel.

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