Top Producer: A Novel of Dark Money, Greed, and Friendship

Top Producer: A Novel of Dark Money, Greed, and Friendship

by Norb Vonnegut, Mel Foster
     
 

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In a world that moves as fast as finance does, top producers have to think three steps ahead and make snap decisions. Theirs is a blurred version of reality, one that conceals moves as much as it rewards the bold ones. All too easily, scams can be disguised as success, and plotting can be mistaken for killer instincts. And as Grove O'Rourke finds out, "Nothing

Overview

In a world that moves as fast as finance does, top producers have to think three steps ahead and make snap decisions. Theirs is a blurred version of reality, one that conceals moves as much as it rewards the bold ones. All too easily, scams can be disguised as success, and plotting can be mistaken for killer instincts. And as Grove O'Rourke finds out, "Nothing obscures vulnerability like success. Nothing that is, except for friendships."

But this book isn't about stocks and bonds—it's about people. It's about Grove O'Rourke, top producer at the investment firm of Sachs, Kidder, and Carnegie, and about his best friend, Charlie Kelemen, whose spectacular murder is carried out in front of hundreds of horrified party-goers at the opening of the novel. It's about Charlie's widow, who comes to Grove for help after her husband's death, even though she's hiding a dark secret. And it's about how money—vast sums of money—can cover up even the most glaring imperfections in relationships and fool everyone.

Well, almost everyone.

With the ease of someone who has lived in the world of top producers, Norb Vonnegut has crafted a sharp, dark thriller that will make you think—and then double-check your investments.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Vonnegut’s debut meets the gold standard for financial thrillers as it puts the frenzied, cutthroat world of Wall Street’s best stockbrokers (aka the “top producers”) on brilliant display. Ripples from the bizarre murder of Charlie Kelemen, wealthy hedge fund operator, quickly reach his best friend, Grove O’Rourke. A top producer at the boutique investment bank Sachs, Kidder and Carnegie, O’Rourke tries to help Kelemen’s widow sort out some financial questions. This process leads him deeper and deeper into a labyrinth of deceit. As fallout from Charlie’s death and dealings start to taint O’Rourke, the sharks, inside and outside his own firm, smell blood and begin to circle. O’Rourke won’t go down without a fight, and not all the blood in the water will be his. Vonnegut, himself a veteran fund manager, handles the arcane terminology and slang of Wall Street with aplomb, never letting it get in the way of the story. 100,000 first printing. (Sept.)
Library Journal

In his debut, Wall Street executive Vonnegut (and yes, a distant relation to Kurt) presents Grove O'Rourke, a 32-year-old hotshot at a New York investment firm, where he manages $2 billion for his wealthy clients. When Grove witnesses the gruesome murder of his best friend and mentor, Charlie Kelemen, and learns that Charlie's wife, Sam, knows nothing about her husband's dealings and is penniless, he sets out to track down the killers and his friend's missing funds. Grove soon finds that Charlie had many secrets, some of them personally devastating. For those who have followed the demise of Madoff's Ponzi scheme, the crux of the plot will seem either old stuff or news ripped from the headlines. And, unless readers are up on zero-cost dollars, downside protection, delta hedging, prepaid forwards, and derivatives, their eyes will likely glaze over at some of the financial maneuvers. VERDICT Though it's hard these days to feel sympathy for investment bankers and stockbrokers, Vonnegut makes his irreverent protagonist someone we can root for as he pursues crooks who use the redemptive language of hedge funds to hide financial malfeasance. A promising debut (the author has a two-book deal). [See Prepub Mystery, LJ5/1/09.]—Ron Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson


—Ron Terpening
From the Publisher
"Vonnegut's debut meets the gold standard for financial thrillers as it puts the frenzied, cutthroat world of Wall Street's best stockbrokers (aka the 'top producers') on brilliant display." —Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400113422
Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
09/15/2009
Edition description:
Unabridged, 11 CDs, 13 hrs 30 min
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Vonnegut's debut meets the gold standard for financial thrillers as it puts the frenzied, cutthroat world of Wall Street's best stockbrokers (aka the 'top producers') on brilliant display." —-Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Meet the Author

Mel Foster has narrated over 150 audiobooks and has won several awards. Twice an Audie finalist for 1864: Lincoln at the Gates of History by Charles Bracelen Flood and Finding God in Unexpected Places by Philip Yancey, he won for the latter title.

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