Crude Deception (The Sentinels Series Book Two)

Crude Deception (The Sentinels Series Book Two)

by Gordon Zuckerman

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Overview

An oil supply controlled by corrupt hands, murderous assassins who will do anything to keep that power intact--and a group of friends with a wild plan to thwart them all.

As World War II recovery begins, word gets out that the heads of the biggest oil companies in the world are holding secret meetings. The Sentinels--the same counterespionage group that captured millions from Nazi-controlled corporations--learn of this ''Oil Club'' and its plan to perpetuate its control over 90 percent of the world's future oil production.

To prevent this dangerous concentration of power in the hands of seven incestuous companies, the Sentinels develop a plan to break the club's grip. It will require the cooperation of some of the world's most powerful private investors, government officials, and Middle Eastern leaders, plus the help of grassroots America. To implement their plan, the Sentinels must rally support over four continents while eluding the constant threat of ruthless assassins hired by the Oil Club.

As the Sentinels' struggle unfolds in the jungles of Indonesia, the corporate boardrooms of America, Europe, and Asia, and the desert of the Western frontier, you'll be taken along on a ride that includes romance, political intrigue, and plenty of bare-knuckled action.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608321438
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group, LLC
Publication date: 06/01/2011
Series: The Sentinels Series , #2
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Gordon Zuckerman, a graduate of Harvard Business School, has studied banking, international finance, and history extensively, focusing on how wealth and governmental machinations can advance private agendas that conflict with public interest. He lives with his wife in northern Nevada.

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Crude Deception (the Sentinels Series Book Two) 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Artymedon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Here is an attempt at broadening the reader's mental landscape. Its Author knows the oil industry and gives the measure of the power of a handful of men over our economy. In 1946, time period of the book, the second in the serie: "The Sentinels" crude oil was as indispensable as it is today. Gordon Zuckerman's book will make you think the next time you are at the pump that one should not endure "a king over the production, transportation, and sale of any of the necessaries of life" as Senator John Sherman wrote around the 1890s. That a club of oilmen band together -the subject of the book - to seek a monopolization of the future oil production was not new in 1946. The Standard oil of John D. Rockefeller was trying to achieve this until the Supreme Court broke its monopoly in 1911. Unfortunately in the 30s big oil evades taxation by offseting royalties paid on production against taxes on profits from refining, distribution and sales at the time the U.S. goes from Exporter to major importer of oil resources.The heroes of the book circumnavigate the globe to raise capital to give developping nations such as Indonesia, "other choice than to submit to the demands of the major oil company" (p.204) and have them negotiate better oil contracts with their former colonists, the British or the Dutch.Perhaps this circumnavigation is at times disorienting for the reader as the dialogues are very fact oriented and local color is not always sufficiently developed for a period book. The tempo is uneven and accelerates towards the end as if the conductor looses himself in the meanders of his complex financial symphony. It is at time a challenge to follow this jet set crowd as the book leaves his reader a bit like one of the characters, Jacques, a Banker lost at sea, adrift-to use this chapter's title: the narration starts with a Wyoming fly fishing escapade, subsequent chapters travel through boardrooms, hotel rooms, clubs boats and restaurants in New-york, Washington, London, Caracas, Arizona. San Francisco, Hong-Kong, Dallas, Geneva, Jakarta, Indonesia, Paris, Antibes, a fishing village in Catalonia, Chamonix, Canada, Seattle, Sidney. At the end of the book we, readers, are exhausted as if we had been going through all these meetings and cities. The book's crescendo with its final whirlwind of billions does not help get back to having to fill up our tanks at $3.20 a gallon. But we were in 1946 and soon GM would create the Cadillac Eldorado taking one for a rocket-like ride at 8 miles per gallon...Zuckerman gives us insights, in a diverting manner, over the world of international finance and we follow his characters as they painfully gather a fifteen-billion dollars investment fund to give access to capital to sovereign oil nations or independent oil companies.
cranjetta on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think this book was well written, however I think there is a finite group of people who would find this enjoyable. I was not one of the people in that small group. I found the book entirely too droll and rich people fighting other rich people with back room deals and clandestine meetings of bankers just did not excite me. I had a very hard time turning the pages and the payoff at the end really made me feel like I wasted too much time reading the book.
jazzzak on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really don't like unclogging the toilet, but it has to be done. What the heck does that mean? It means I really didn't like this book, but I had to read it so I could write this review. Being an accountant and an avid reader, I've always dreamed of writing a thriller with an accountant as the main character.... that dream has been ended. This tale of the highly exciting activity of creating new financial instruments and marketing them was less exciting than Tom Clancy's hundreds of pages on assembling a nuclear device. The Sentinel team of international wizards travel all over the world trying to persuade investors to help them fund independent oil processors instead of the septopoly (I just made that up!) of big oil companies. The big oil companies send their hired thugs after the Sentinels. Guess who wins? If this was non-fiction, maybe it would have been interesting from a historical perspective, but as fiction, it seriously lacked some good character and plot development. Zuckerman's writing seems more like a documentary than a thriller.
rufusraider on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked the book very much. The setting just after World War 2 was very interesting with the discussion of just how much time it took to travel and to communicate around the world. The story is about a group of young economists that take on the big oil companies who want to control the world's oil supply. For today, you substitute OPEC in the role of the oil companies and you could probably write the book today. It has analogies to any period where a small group of men/companies/states try to control the supply of any product/service/commodity.The book was a fairly quick read and was fairly simple to follow. The story was well told and made you like/hate certain characters based on the role they were playing.I wished I had read the first book in the series to understand a lot of the references to the previous escapades of this group. You can enjoy the book without reading the earlier book and still enjoy this book.
deborahwiley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I did not enjoy this book very much. I did not realize it was a part of a series. It is in the international thriller category, but it did not thrill me. I thought it was rather boring especially when the author was explaining banking terms.I would not recommend reading it. It was a chore.
GarySeverance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Crude Deception is a historical novel focusing on the post World War II oil industry. It is the second novel by Gordon Zuckerman in his Sentinels series. The Sentinels are a group of highly educated economists who were active in the war against the Nazis. Now the Sentinels are pitched against 7 United States oil companies (the Oil Club) that are trying to corner the world¿s oil marked illegally. The Sentinels use their considerable brain power to fight the Oil Club with the help of the US government. The Oil club fights back by employing a murderous group of thugs.The novel has an international setting with some violent action. The book is self-contained, but it would add to the reader¿s understanding of the characters to read the first book in the series before this one. The origins of OPEC described in the book and the power of small banks when they invest together were interesting parts of the novels. The Asian connection with western oil in the 1940s was also informative given today¿s economic conditions.
LisaMorr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Crude Deception is the second book in the series, The Sentinels, by Gordon Zuckerman. I picked up the first book in the series, Fortunes of War, before reading this one. In that book I was introduced to the sentinels a group of people bound together by being very smart, being the children of rich and/or powerful people and all doing post-grad work at UC Berkeley. In that book they banded together to stop the industrialists behind Hitler's rise to power from doing it again. And in this book they band together to again stop industrialists (in this case those who run the seven major oil companies) from ruling the world by cornering the market on developing the world's newly discovered oil reserves.While the story is somewhat interesting, I didn't find that it was written very well, which kept me from being drawn into the story. One example of the distracting writing was in a section where the bride of one of the characters was going to meet one of her husband's old friends. The husband warns her about him and describes him; in the next scene, she meets the guy, and the author describes the guy using the same langauge that was just used. In addition to this type of distraction, some things occur in the book that just don't make sense - an actress meets one of the characters and is so distraught over what she sees as a back-handed compliment that she runs away crying. A scene or two later and these two are best buddies, with no explanation how she is now good friends with this guy. What I also found a bit self-serving is how the chracters predict what will happen to the oil industry in the future - and of course they are spot on, but who really knew what was going to happen to the oil industry just after WWII? I enjoyed the first book quite a bit more than this one and found this one to be derivative and not easy to finish.
Gwnfkt12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After reading the first book in the Sentinels series, it was difficult to imagine what would be the next dangerous position in which this group of friends/schoolmates/heirs and heiresses/etc. could possibly find themselves. I was slightly disappointed to find that the power struggle with the "Oil Club" was not nearly as thrilling as the plot of the first novel. However the characters were just as loveable, the time period was historically accurate, and the storytelling kept me joyfully entertained. The Sentinels are not typical heroes, and even suffer many downfalls throughout the story to show that they are not invincible but rather clever and thoroughly motivated to succeed. This novel is as much about character interactions as it is about the "Oil Club"'s world domination. It achieves a perfect balance of personality (the relationships between the Sentinels) and descriptiveness (explanations of bank finances and the history of oil). This book is well-written and completely consuming - the thrill of danger, deception, and heartbreak kept me filled with suspense until the very last page.
Tarheel668 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
1) Overall Impression - Once you get used to the rhythm of book you will enjoy it. The story and timeframe (Post WWII) will take you back to a period when the world was large and personal relationships between those with money, political power, and economic might were key. 2) I enjoyed taking a step back to look at when the energy challenge started. The "Oil Club" was a great evil empire, the Sentinels were a hardy band of financially savvy bankers. 3) The level is detail was just right. Enough about energy to provide for a great story, but not so much that your eyes glazed over. 4) The characters were interesting in that they were all old money, connected at the highest level folks. However, they worked extremely hard, took extensive notes, and wrote a lot of reports. Their connections got them into the room, but their brains and attention to detail brought them the respect they needed to get the deal done. 5) I read the whole book in one sitting. It wasn't a "race through the pages with a racing heart" book. However, it was good enough to just keep you turning the pages.
autumnblues on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A well written historical temperate thriller, with a combination of fact and fiction, relevant to the world as it is today. The Sentinels: Crude Deception is a mix of thriller and historical fiction with its central point based on a group of individuals called the sentinels, who have set-out to break up a monopoly of seven major oil companies who began controlling the oil industry after World War II. The book begins with the seven American and British oil companies breaking the law by getting together for a private meeting. Jacques, one of the sentinel¿s spies from a nearby fishing stream at a private hunting and fishing club, records each plane¿s individual make and model number information as each plane passes above him before landing for the meeting. This information proving the seven oil company monopoly has gotten together is brought back to the sentinel table and from there the sentinels begin their quest. Zuckerman has taken the element most common to government and politics, those which include the deceptions, greed and secretive societies, intermingled them with fiction, and threw in some past history and actual facts to create this very realistic novel. We all know how controversial oil and government can be, however, Zuckerman takes us back to the era of 1946 and presents a group of heroes, the sentinels, who are not only graduates of an elite American doctoral program but are also tied in to the global financial district. With a plan to break up the oil group, the sentinels acquire help from some of the current world¿s most powerful private investors, Middle Eastern leaders and government officials. Crude Deception covers numerous issues that are relevant to the issues in the world as it is today. The characters in the book are very strong and focused on their agenda, which is to create their own kind of energy development fund, with the intent on putting a stop to the controlling financial grip the seven big oil corporations have on the current market. I found Crude Deception to be slow at first but it did pick up speed at times and then settle down again. All the sentinels are distinct in their own way and although they are all distinguished individuals each have their own little quirks. I recommend this book for those who are into mild thrillers with a twist of history and government, otherwise you will lose interest quickly.
theoriginalpurpledragon More than 1 year ago
Crude Deception by Gordon Zuckerman This book read more like a history book than a novel. What little bit of research I did on the premise seems to hold true with the author's vision, frightening to say the least. Post WWII intrigue by the oil industry to seize the world is the theme of the book. I liked the book but would have preferred to have a little more background about the Sentinels. The Sentinels appeared to be a well connected, off the books, oversight group with international implications. Perhaps a forward giving their role and background would have made the book more comprehensible. There is a fair amount of mild action with international travel. There are tie ins to the modern day if you are at all familiar with history. Big business is not painted with a broad brush. It is clear that some big business was corrupted or corruptible but others strove for honesty. Overall it is a tale of greed that certainly resonates with Enron, Madoff and Haliburton. There is even a Black Water connection provided by the Samson group. Once again if you don't know your history you are doomed to repeat it. It appears as a nation we aren't very concerned about history. I recommend it.
autumnbluesreviews More than 1 year ago
The Sentinels: Crude Deception is a mix of thriller and historical fiction with its central point based on a group of individuals called the sentinels, who have set out to break up a monopoly of seven major oil companies who began controlling the oil industry after World War II. The story begins with the seven American and British oil companies breaking the law by getting together for a private meeting. Jacques, one of the sentinel's, spies from a nearby fishing stream at a private hunting and fishing club. He records each plane's individual make and model number as each plane passes above him, before landing for the meeting. This information is to prove proof that the seven oil company monopoly has gotten together. This is brought back to the sentinel table and the sentinels quest begins. Zuckerman has taken the element most common to government and politics, those which include the deceptions, greed and secretive societies. He has intermingled them with fiction, thrown in some past history and actual facts, to create this very realistic novel. We all know how controversial oil and government can be. However, Zuckerman takes us back to the era of 1946 and presents a group of heroes, the sentinels, who are not only graduates of an elite American doctoral program, but are also tied in to the global financial district. With a plan to break up the oil group, the sentinels acquire help from some of the current world's most powerful private investors, Middle Eastern leaders and government officials. Crude Deception covers numerous issues that are relevant to the issues in the world as it is today. The characters in the book are very strong and focused on their agenda, which is to create their own kind of energy development fund, with the intent on putting a stop to the controlling financial grip the seven big oil corporations have on the current market. I found Crude Deception to be slow at first, but it did pick up speed at times and then settle down again. All the sentinels are distinct in their own way and, although they are all distinguished individuals, each have their own little quirks. I recommend this book for those who are into mild thrillers with a twist of history and government, otherwise you will lose interest quickly.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Crude Deception is the second book in The Sentinels series. The Sentinels are a group of well-connected people who perform various missions that protect American interests on a global basis. They discover that the major oil companies in America have formed a monopoly that will ever prevent anyone from entering the market in any part of the world. The difference to take note is that this takes place in the 1950s, and the story seems to really be about the formation of OPEC, an irony indeed considering its power and sphere of influence today. However, to take one back to the time of this novel, the Sentinels come to experience the same government officials, lobbyists, businessCEOs , etc. who are in the pockets of the major oil companies. The President and other officials have a better idea, to create an agency that will open up the market to the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. It takes considerable risk for Jacques and Claudia Roth, as well as Mike Stone and Cecilia Chang, to begin the intelligence, form a plan, travel to places yielding financial support, and so on in order for their plan to develop. As they inch forward each step, the threats change to life and death attacks. For the "Oil Club," as it is known, is more powerful than ordinary citizens realize and just as immoral and illegal in many of its actions guaranteeing its continued monopoly. To say more would be a spoiler. Suffice to say, Crude Deception is an action-packed, intelligent adventure into the world of big business with some espionage, intelligence and counter-intelligence to exhilarate readers galore. Finely crafted story that reads more like reality than fiction!