Top Producer: A Novel of Dark Money, Greed, and Friendshipby Norb Vonnegut, Mel Foster (Narrated by)
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.
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
- Tantor Media, Inc.
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- MP3 - Unabridged CD
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- 5.30(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)
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Meet the Author
Norb Vonnegut spent over two years at a money management firm in New York City, where he was a managing director responsible for equity and fixed income portfolios.
Mel Foster, an audiobook narrator since 2002, won an Audie Award for Finding God in Unexpected Places by Philip Yancey. He has also won several AudioFile Earphones Awards. Best known for mysteries, Mel has also narrated classic authors such as Thoreau, Nabokov, and Whitman.
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