The Domino Effect

The Domino Effect

by Davis Bunn


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The Domino Effect by Davis Bunn

A Financial Thriller That Will Keep Readers on the Edge of Their Seats

Esther Larsen, a leading risk analyst at one of the country's largest banking institutions, is becoming more and more convinced that she has uncovered a ticking bomb with the potential to overshadow 2008's market crash. And as her own employer pursues "investment" strategies with ever-increasing levels of risk, she becomes convinced she must do something. Yet what can one person really do?

The markets are edging closer to a tipping point—like the teetering first domino in a standing row that circles the globe. And when Esther does sound the alarm, she wonders if anyone will take her seriously. But as public support grows for her ideas, so does the desperation of those whose conspiracy of greed she seeks to expose. With global markets on the brink, and her own life in danger, Esther is locked in a race with the clock to avert a worldwide financial meltdown.

This fast-paced suspense novel will make you wonder where the fiction ends and reality begins. . . .

"Davis Bunn applies his deft hand to The Domino Effect with the grace and mastery his dedicated fans have come to expect. . . ."—Jerry B. Jenkins

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764217913
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/06/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 637,209
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Davis Bunn is the author of numerous bestsellers with sales totaling more than seven million copies worldwide. The winner of four Christy Awards for excellence in fiction, he is a Writer-in-Residence at Regent's Park College, University of Oxford. He and his wife, Isabella, divide their time between England and Florida. Learn more at

Read an Excerpt

The Domino Effect

By Davis Bunn

Baker Publishing Group

Copyright © 2016 Davis Bunn
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1867-5



Esther Larsen hurried along the corridor, racing the clock.

She arrived at the boardroom five minutes late. Jason Bremmer paced the corridor outside the conference room. Esther's boss hated to be kept waiting. But she had only learned about this meeting when the bank's CEO had personally phoned her. Esther's boss hated that most of all.

Jason stood with his back to the conference room and put serious heat into saying, "Not one word. Not one breath out of line."

Esther did not respond.

She followed her boss into the room. The bank's chairman, Reynolds Thane, stood facing the plate-glass wall and the Charlotte skyline. Esther knew he had been studying the room's reflection, waiting for her to show up. "Everyone here now? Excellent. We've called this meeting because the investment banking group has requested an additional temporary allocation of two billion dollars."

"So the bank can earn another hundred million," Jason replied. "In two days. Possibly more money in less time."

Reynolds took many of his meetings like this, dressed in a striped shirt with a white collar and the pants to a Savile Row suit, suspenders from the St. Andrews golf course gift shop, gold cuff links and tiepin. Standing with his back to the room, fascinated with the city he dominated. "You claim to have identified a sure-fire investment."

"Not claim, Reynolds. We've done it. This is solid gold."

"Your floor already controls eight percent of the bank's total assets. And now you want more."

"We've made money year on year," Jason replied. "We will again this year. If you give us the green light here."

"Your division is down for the past two quarters."

"Just on paper, and only because we hedged on longer-term gains. Which means we can't pull out of these positions without posting unnecessary losses. But this new investment will put us in the black for the quarter and the year."

Esther stared at the polished surface between her hands. She did not need to look up. She had sat through enough of these meetings to know exactly how things stood. Jason had come with four of his traders. They were all eager, smart, polished, and vicious. Just like their boss. They would say whatever Jason told them to say. This blind willingness to do whatever it took was how they had arrived at this point. Making the big bucks. Sitting with the power players. Looking at how much higher they might climb. If they made the cut. If they bet right with the bank's money. There was no reason to dwell on the downside, no profit.

That was the job of Esther and her analysts.

Reynolds asked, "What if I told you the bank could only allocate half a billion?"

"The deal won't work. I can give you the figures if you want.

But the trade requires the full two billion outlay."

Jason did not actually lie. But in the nineteen months she had worked for him, Esther had learned that Jason took pride in manipulating the truth to his own ends. She felt her muscles lock with the effort it required not to speak.

Reynolds asked, "What if the bank requires time to draw together these funds?"

"The memo I sent you this morning was marked urgent for a reason," Jason said. "The door opens, the door closes. If we're going to act, it has to be now."

Esther had a distinct impression of observing the conference room from a vast distance. Jason was in control here. Forget the titles on the doors. Everyone else was frozen into position. Including Esther. They played the game according to his rules.

"Walk me through it one more time," Reynolds said.

Jason was one of the best at pitching deals Esther had ever heard, and she had heard some of the finest. It would be so easy to believe in what he was selling.

When Jason was done, the room held to a singular tension.

Jason's crew tensed with genuine fear, knowing just how dangerous their boss could be, how their careers were all on the line.

Each and every day.

Reynolds asked, "Is there any reason why I shouldn't approve this deal?"

Esther knew without looking up that Jason's attention was trained on her now. Taking aim.

Reynolds asked, "Is there any potential downside lurking in the shadows?"

Two hours ago, Esther had been called into Jason's office. Her report on this deal had been there on his desk. Jason had planted one fist on the pages and told her that she was never to mention this to anyone. Ever. He did not threaten because he did not need to. Esther knew Jason had only one way of dealing with staff who did not fall into line. He chopped them off at the knees.

Reynolds, of course, did not care about Jason's hostility. Esther suspected the bank's CEO actually approved of his senior trader being a vengeful tyrant. Reynolds Thane was interested in one thing, and one thing only: making more money this quarter than last.

The bank president rocked up on his toes once, twice, and said, "Do it."

Jason could not have risen faster if his seat had been spring-loaded. "You'll have the documents ready for your signature in an hour."

Esther rose with the others. As she filed from the room, she risked one glance back, hoping the CEO might ask her to remain. But Reynolds stayed as he was, smiling at the skyline and his own reflection.

Jason did not speak until the elevator doors slid shut. Then he looked at Esther with all the menace she knew he carried. "Good work, Larsen."

Esther nodded in response. She felt dwarfed by the five men in the elevator, despite her five-foot-eight height and gymnast's physique. She wore her dark hair swept back and held in a plain gold clasp. Today's dress matched the mood, somber and gray. She shifted slightly from one foot to the other, observing her reflection. In the bronze elevator doors, her mask shattered and reknit, over and over.

She walked down the carpeted corridor, across the skyway, and halted by the entrance to her department. Esther leaned her forehead on the door and wished she could find enough air to take one easy breath.


Excerpted from The Domino Effect by Davis Bunn. Copyright © 2016 Davis Bunn. Excerpted by permission of Baker Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Domino Effect 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
hes7 More than 1 year ago
The Domino Effect is quite a thriller. I don’t usually read financial-focused fiction, but Davis Bunn does such an excellent job of keeping his story accessible and understandable for the ordinary reader that I couldn’t help getting caught up in all the suspense. Esther Larsen, a risk analyst who foresees a financial crisis, is a fascinating character to follow through the action and excitement of this twisting and turning book, and I so enjoyed her story. I had a bit of a hard time putting it down, so The Domino Effect kept me reading late into the night. Fans of thrillers and suspense, this book is a great pick for a next read—I recommend it. Thanks to Bethany House, I received a copy of The Domino Effect and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
They could bring down the world with their greed..... The Domino Effect By Davis Bunn Esther Larson is the top risk analyst at her bank, which also happens to be one of the largest within the US. Her job is, officially, to warn the investment powers that be of any foreseeable risks before investments are made. Unofficially she's supposed to find high-risk investments with big quick returns and not mention the potential downside. But when a series of banking investments start pointing to a potential financial disaster Esther has to come out of the shell she's constructed around her life. To truly help prevent this looming and imminent threat she'll need to let someone into her life - someone who can help her get the word out before it is too late. The Domino Effect takes the reader into the high risk world of speculative investing where everything is one trade away from bringing down not only a bank or a nation but the world's financial infrastructure. This is a world most are unfamiliar with so this is an enlightening reading experience even as the suspense builds with each flip of the page. This was my latest up all night reading choice which may or may not be a good thing if you plan on getting a good night's sleep in. This is an excellent book if you are looking for suspense with a twist. Even as Esther attempts to prevent the disaster she sees coming someone is determined to stop her - silencing her voice permanently before she can reveal their darkest secrets.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book about bamking, money, love of power and love of others
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*cringes* This review should have been written a LOOOOOOOOONG time ago. Y'see, once upon a time quite awhile back, Bethany House let me have a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Clearly, that honest review didn't happen. But today I shall try to mend my ways and explain myself. I didn't finish The Domino Effect. However, that's not to say that the book wasn't good. It's just . . . I probably shouldn't have requested it, since it's about economics and math and such, which, as we all know, are two subjects to which I'm not exactly passionately devoted. Also, I think I somehow got the impression that it was going to be a sort of allegorical retelling of the Biblical Esther story? I don't know where I got that idea, but it wasn't really the case. However, aside from those subjective issues, I did like the characters, I think (it's honestly been a long time, so I don't remember much of what my thoughts were). It was well-written -- taut and tense but also indicating a level of depth behind the characters. And the economic aspects -- though kind of over my head -- sounded like they were legitimate and well-researched. :-P So, overall, the main purpose of this is just to acknowledge to the Bethany House people that I did read a good amount of the book, I am grateful that they sent it to me, and I do apologize for not posting a full or timely review.
bsnksmom More than 1 year ago
Reading The Domino Effect is a little like reading a book of prophecy – one that you REALLY hope stays fictional. Events are so true to life that you fully expect to read about them in the business pages of the daily paper or you expect to turn on Good Morning America and see Esther being interviewed. After the recession of 2008 and all of the changes to the economy that stemmed from that, it is a scary thing to contemplate an even bigger event – not just a recession but a full-on depression. That is what Davis Bunn asks readers to consider in The Domino Effect. Esther Larsen is a risk analyst for the 7th largest bank in the world. She deals in facts, just facts. Esther is crazy smart, graduating from the University of Chicago at 17 and attaining her doctorate at 21. She has been tracking the top banks in the world since the recession of 2008 and, after watching her own bank take increasingly bigger risks with their customers’ money, she concludes that the global economy is on the brink of disaster. As the dominoes of world economies begin to line up, will Esther and her team be able to warn the world in time to avert the tipping of that first domino? Can one person, used to hiding herself away, step into the limelight and stop a crisis in its tracks? If, like me, you have NO understanding of investments, risk analysis or economics, don’t worry, you’ll still enjoy this book! Davis Bunn has a gift for bringing the most difficult concept down to the beginner’s level and then expanding it until you “get” even the big concepts. The action is fast paced and the characters are well-developed. Esther reminded me a little of Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory – a complete geek with very few interpersonal skills – but, unlike Sheldon, she’s willing to learn. When she puts herself out there for Craig’s family and for her church friends, Patricia and Donald, it’s like watching a butterfly emerge from its cocoon. If you love a thrill-ride of suspense in your books, pick this one up and prepare to feel the need to secure your OWN investments! This book starts out a little slow but let me just say that the train picks up speed pretty rapidly. By the end, I had to stop reading just to catch my breath. I would absolutely recommend this book! Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
Fiction...or today's headlines? I started The Domino Effect excited to read another Davis Bunn book but also wondering if it was going to be totally over my head. The world of high finance is something I know absolutely nothing about, except that there are a lot of crooks in high places. I needn't have worried. Once again, Davis Bunn has taken a hard to understand topic ripped from the headlines and made it understandable for even someone like me. Readers will find a word of caution, some sound advice, and a touch of hope within the entertaining pages of a novel. The Domino Effect is a sobering and frightening look at today's financial world, and at those who control the world's money. It's also quite a fascinating retelling of the story of Esther, recognizable and yet different enough not to be cliched. The Domino Effect is a gripping story, hard to put down, the danger and excitement contagious. Davis Bunn has not neglected the romantic angle either, as Esther wades through difficult choices and loss, she finds a chance at love in a most unexpected place. Fans of Davis Bunn will NOT want to miss this financial thriller, but I'll give you fair won't want to start The Domino Effect unless you have an afternoon free and clear to just won't be able to do anything else once the story has you in its grasp... (I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.)
debhgrty More than 1 year ago
Deb’s Dozen: A brilliant analyst, two scheming scoundrels, the world’s financial markets at stake. Esther Larsen, a reticent but brilliant financial analyst, is very troubled. She and her team are the best and she is better than the best. She believes she has discovered a plot by her bank’s greedy president and its prime investor to make the bank rich at the cost of the crash of the world’s financial markets. Esther has never opened up to anyone other than her brother. But her brother is hospitalized in a fugue state and not expected to recover. Esther finally decides she has to share what she has found with the closest friends she has. What she discloses starts a domino cascade of events that could affect us all! Davis Bunn has succeeded in producing a novel that will entrance, enthrall, entertain, and educate you while simultaneously scaring you to death at the possibilities. In today’s computer-driven world, where financial transactions take place in nanoseconds, the plot could very well happen. As always, Davis’s characters are well-developed, but flawed. You’ll love seeing Esther start to bloom from a personal as well as intellectual standpoint. You’ll love all his auxiliary characters too. The Domino Effect is one of those suspense-filled books you’ll not want to put down until the nail-biting finish. In my opinion, The Domino Effect is Davis’s best book to date. Five stars from me—my husband rated the book four-and-a-half stars because the story came to an end. Davis Bunn, also known to fantasy and speculative fiction readers as Thomas Locke, is a prolific (over seven million copies sold) and much-awarded author. He has received the Christy’s Lifetime Achievement Award among many others. While he and his wife, Isabella, live part-time in Florida, he is also a Writer-in-Residence at Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford. Davis graciously shares his experience and wisdom at a variety of writers’ conferences around the country. Bethany House provided me a copy of this book although I was in no way obligated to write a favorable review.
Theresa_Shell More than 1 year ago
Esther Larsen is a top risk analyst, and math prodigy, who notices alarming trends that will have devastating effects on the global economy if not stopped. In a parallel to the biblical heroine, she steps out to share her voice with the world, and prevent disaster--putting herself and those she loves at risk. Esther is a very likable character, and immediately drew me into her story. She is strong, independent, refined, and logical, yet has the relatable introvertive challenges in processing her emotions, trusting a community of friends, and letting go of the past. There were several moments in Esther's personal and professional life where I identified, connected with, and celebrated her achievements and character growth. The global economic crisis was also set up to be suspenseful--initially. But the pace became much too slow about a third of the way into the novel, and it killed the suspense for me. The bad guys were not believable, or nearly wicked enough to create the needed tension and apprehension. And, while the details of the economic threat were interesting to me, the tone did not feel imminent. I also found the end to be completely unmemorable--everything was too easily worked out; and I did not understand the point of a couple of the side stories, which did not tie together well for me. I needed more suspense, higher stakes, and more connections within the themes of the larger picture. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House.
bookbloggerKB More than 1 year ago
The Domino Effect by Davis Bunn Davis Bunn’s novel warns readers of a coming financial collapse. The main character, Esther Larsen, child prodigy and now grown-up stock market analyst makes a horrifying discovery. Using her intellect and experience in the stock market, she begins to warn others of her concerns. The question is: can one person do anything to prevent the coming crash? Bunn’s writing was clear, but the story seemed a thinly veiled excuse for a warning. The characters weren’t as developed as I would have liked, and the plot wasn’t one that kept the reader guessing. I got lost in much of the financial gibberish. This is not to say that a more financially savvy reader wouldn’t have appreciated the book more than I did. However, I was reading for the literary value and not the underlying warning. I made myself finish the book and was glad I did because it did have a hopeful outcome. However, I don’t think I would be eager to read a sequel. This is not to say that he is not a good author, but one whose writing style didn’t click with me. I received this free book in return for my honest review, which I have given.
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
If you are like me and came through the 2008 financial crisis bruised, battered, and barely standing then you may very well look at Davis Bunn's latest suspense novel as a work of horror. Could that nightmare really happen again? Could it be even worse this time around? That is the scary yet all too plausible premise of The Domino Effect. Esther Larsen is a risk analyst at one of the largest banks in the United States. To say that she's unpopular with the upper management is an understatement. In fact they don't want to hear her assessments of their risky schemes. Esther is torn because not only is this her dream job but there are other factors that depend on her continuing with this path. But what if God has an even bigger and better plan? There really is no one better suited to write this novel than Davis Bunn. He not only has the writing skills to bring us a fast-paced believable story but he also has the background to make it feel like it is ripped from today's headlines. And that my friends is what makes it so scary. Davis Bunn uses the framework of the biblical Esther's story "for such a time as this" in a modern day format. Both Esthers have internal conflict and aren't sure they are up for the task before them. But once they stiffen their spine and choose to proceed with the course set before them they are filled with inner strength that can only come from God Himself. Lest you worry that this is only a doom and gloom novel, let me assure you that there is much beauty among the growing ashes. There are multiple love stories mixed in and not all of them are romantic in nature but each one is very moving and inspiring. If your book club likes to do suspense with a plausible and modern theme then this would be a perfect fit. I'm personally dying for my book club peeps to finish the book so we can discuss it! I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
NadineTimes10 More than 1 year ago
"The status quo no longer worked. "Remaining silent, not speaking, that was what had weighed her down the most… More than the risks the bank currently exposed itself to. Her time of remaining on the sidelines and simply observing was over." As a risk analyst for a large banking institution, Esther Larsen sees a financial crisis coming that will hit the global markets and crash the US dollar. But going public about an international conspiracy will put her life in danger in The Domino Effect, a novel by Davis Bunn. Plenty of readers have their go-to, “I’ll read anything with his/her name on it” authors. Davis Bunn is one of those authors for me. I’ve come to expect a clear level of mastery while reading his novels; this one was no different, and I got what I expected with this well-told story. I’ve seen it described as a “financial thriller,” and while I felt it to be more of a suspense novel throughout than a thriller, I did find the climax quite thrilling. Plus, the story isn’t all schemes and intrigues without heart. My own heart was warmed and wrenched as Esther had to navigate both the old and new human connections in her life. Now, I’ll admit that numbers aren’t one of my top interests. While it’s true that fiction gets me to delve into some topics I don’t naturally gravitate toward, I found it difficult to stay interested during the stretches of technical explanations in this book. It felt more to me like reading a finance textbook or an economics periodical than a novel during those parts. The true-to-life warning here about global economics is impossible to miss, though. Another good, suspenseful read from this ChristFic author that I think many fellow readers will find worthwhile. ______________ I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.
Teadrinker More than 1 year ago
The Domino Effect is definitely one of the more fast paced and intriguing books that I have read by Davis Bunn. Esther Larsen is a top risk analyst at one of the country's largest banks. Unfortunately her job is a stressful one and she has also uncovered some banking issues that add even more stress to her life. At first she bottles everything up. . .but gradually she opens up to some of her friends from church. From there, she has some of the support she needs to stand up and do something to help the global market situation. Esther is just one person. Can she make a difference? You'll have to read this book to find out as I don't want to give away too much of the plot. I don't usually read books that cover this type of subject matter. . .I usually read more relaxing fiction books because I like to read fiction to relax before I go to bed. The Domino Effect was an intense fiction book for my tastes. . .and as a result I had to read it a bit more slowly. I also feel like our global financial situation could actually be similar to that of this book as I read in the news that a financial collapse is coming. That being said, I thought this book was well done. While I am in no way an expert in the subject matter of this book, it felt like Bunn did his research well. I would recommend it if you like fast-paced books. Bunn is an excellent writer who does well with various subject matters and I do always find his books to be good even if they are a bit more challenging read, like this one. I received this book from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a review in exchange for the book.
LaurinB More than 1 year ago
Esther Larsen is an analyst at a major bank in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her job is to analyze the risks that come with investment banking. After the crash of 2008, Esther began keeping track of the risks banks around the country, even around the world, were taking, and what she sees is more than troubling. Can she get the word out and stop the downfall before it’s too late? Will anyone even listen? This was one heck of a page-turner, and so realistic that I found it scarier than the average horror story! Not only is it a good story that grabs your attention and refuses to let go, it also makes you stop and think about what is really going on in those huge “too-big-to-fail” banks. Davis Bunn began his career as an economist, so he knows what he’s talking about, which makes this even scarier… But it’s not just the subject matter that makes this a great read. Bunn employs his amazing writing skills to create wholly believable, comfortably sympathetic characters, and villains with such realistic motives that you understand why they’re doing what they are, while despising them for even contemplating such a thing. Bravo! “Ripped from the headlines” doesn’t quite explain Bunn’s latest novel – it’s much more frighteningly prophetic-like than that. Excellent, highly recommended book. Grab it while you can! Many thanks to Bethany House Publishers for the free copy of this novel for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own!
RussHanley More than 1 year ago
The Domino Effect by Davis Bunn I never imagined I would be writing a review of a book about banking and using words like “thrilling”, “exciting”, “fast-paced”,” difficult to put down”, but here we are. This latest story by Davis Bunn features Esther Larsen, a Financial Risk Analyst at one of America’s major banks. A thriller set in a bank, really? However, it was written by one of my favorite authors, I have read nearly every book he has written since the early 90’s and I can’t imagine anything written by Davis being boring so I decide to forge ahead. Please believe me when I say this book is well worth reading, a thriller through and through, fast-paced and exciting, and very difficult to put down. We tend to believe that banks are solid, conservative, and safe places to put our life savings which is exactly the image that the banks would like us to have. This book paints an entirely different picture of America’s banks. In recent years we have had good examples of misbehavior by large banks that should shake our faith in them. Just weeks ago it was revealed that Wells Fargo, America’s largest bank, fraudulently opened additional accounts in customer names resulting in a massive increase of revenue from fees charged on the fraudulent accounts. Something to think about as you review your investments? The Domino Effect is a fictional tale but one that is not very far from what is happening in real life. The heroic characters, especially Esther, who, much like her Biblical namesake, are morally anchored, faithful seekers of truth. Bunn is insightful and knowledgeable and his books are always well worth reading. I highly recommend that you pick up a copy today and read it. You’ll be glad you did. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
duhbabe More than 1 year ago
The theme of this novel centers around the stock market and CMF, one of the largest banks in the nation. Though there are several important characters in the book, the main focus is on Esther Larsen, the whiz kid math genius who is the senior analyst in the trading sector of CMF. Esther is a single woman carrying hurt from the past in her soul. Her older brother is dying, having given up on life. She has lost her faith and the only thing that keeps her going is her love for her job. Esther’s immediate boss is Jason, an aggressive, mean trader, one of the best in the business. Jason finds the deals and Esther's team of analysts crunches the numbers to determine the risk of the deals. Jason and his team of similarly mannered traders plan a huge trade that will require the bank to give Jason $2 billion to finance the trade expecting to get a very high rate of return. Esther's report reveals that the venture is just too risky. He threatens her into silence. The bank finances the deal and the bank makes a huge profit, this time. The problem is that this trade is on paper only and would not be sanctioned by the Security Exchange Commission. Had it failed the bank would have lost a boatload of money. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Esther discerns that there is more afoot, something only she perceives based upon her years of research and experience. The problem is that she is only one person. Who would listen to her? She and her team have been labeled as the “Downer Group.” The head of the bank is listening less and less to her data. She knows that trades like the one Jason has made are happening everywhere on a global level. If these trades begin to fail countries will go bankrupt. Honestly, the stock market has always been a mystery to me. I only know that a green arrow next to a company's name means they have made a profit. A red arrow means they have lost value. I also don’t understand what the folks yelling and waving papers on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange are doing exactly. The author explains things about how the stock market works which were kind of hard to understand. I did learn quite a bit, yet I have to admit that some of it was over my head. Just as the stock market is a wild ride so is the story in this book. How does Esther get people to listen to her? Will her voice of warning be enough to help those who may lose their life’s savings? the thought that this kind of thing could be going on in real life is pretty frightening. I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers for sending The Domino Effect to me to read for free in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed it and learned something at the same time.
Blessed_and_Bewildered More than 1 year ago
Before I go into my review I want to let those of you who are not savvy in the arena of the stock market and investment banking know that you should keep reading this review and then pick up The Domino Effect. Davis Bunn has provided a great education and a needed warning in an understandable and exciting way. I truly feel that you will enjoy the ride. Now onto the review. Davis Bunn’s novel The Domino Effect is absolutely thrilling and frightening. A warning of the probable future of the global economy if drastic action isn’t taken. In the financial arena, Bunn knows what he is talking about. His bio states that “after completing degrees in international economics and finance in the United States and England, Davis became a business executive working in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.” He understands the global impact of our current banking methodology. Some people live and breathe mathematical constructs and have an intuitive understanding of investment banking and the stock market. Others work hard to learn how to manage their investments. Then there are those like me… admittedly illiterate. There is a long list of concepts and terms in The Domino Effect that I honestly knew almost nothing about, but should have. My husband and I entrust the professionals to take care of our families investments. This may or may not be the best way but investment banking is confusing to us. I’m still not going to manage my own portfolio but Bunn has taken those concepts and terms that are crazy complicated in my mind and made them understandable without dumbing down the material. He has provided me with a greater understanding of our national economy and its interconnectedness with the global economy. Lest you think that The Domino Effect is just a tome on the stock market and international banking you need to know that The Domino Effect is a thrilling ride. It is chock full of danger and intrigue. It is also a story of acceptance, friendship, and healing. The Domino Effect is Christian fiction but the Christianity is very subtle. It is a book that you could give to a non-christian friend and they wouldn’t feel preached to. It isn’t an evangelistic book. The Domino Effect is a creative modern adaptation of the biblical book of Esther. Through the life and actions of the fictional strategic analyst Esther, Bunn takes the frenetic modern world of investment banking and applies parallels to the biblical story and person of Esther. Both are women who feel out of time and place yet find their purpose; a purpose that has an electric effect upon a nation. “Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 ESV as quoted in The Domino Effect Read The Domino Effect. Enjoy the action and intrigue. Understand the dominoes and the disaster that would follow that metaphorical tipping of the first one. I received a review copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. My thanks to the author and publisher. For all of my reviews visit my blog at www (dot) blessedandbewildered (dot) com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Greed, the New National Pastime A Review of “The Domino Effect” by Davis Bunn Greed is the name of the game and with that driving the train, ethics is dropped by the wayside. The Bible tells us that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. The latest book by Davis Bunn, “The Domino Effect” brings the current financial situation to all of us with a valid warning of impending disaster. As a CPA, I see on a local level the results of what is happening nationally and internationally. The analytical skills possessed by Esther in the book are way over my head, but I do see the end point when it trickles down to the company I work for. I hope and pray that the readers of this book will take the steps outlined in it by an author blessed by God, both for his wordmanship and for his financial knowledge. Esther is one of my favorite books of the Bible and is also my mother’s name. Like the Esther in Davis’ book, I also found it hard to ask for help and used to believe I could do it all on my own. I cannot, and neither can anyone else. Cranson Horst Brooklyn, MS I rate this book at five stars and highly recommend it to anyone concerned about the state of today’s financial and banking environment.
dhiggins4 More than 1 year ago
“The Domino Effect” by Davis Bunn is an exciting thriller! I was enthralled with this book from the first page and throughout the whole book. I couldn’t wait to see how Esther Larsen was going to solve this dilemma. This book starts out with Esther Larsen. Esther is a top-notch risk analyst at one of the largest banking institutions. She is suspecting that there is a ticking bomb that could make the 2008 market crash look minor. But Esther is only one person, and the executives who are above her and in on this, are much more powerful than she is. Esther is very bold, though, much like the Esther in the Bible. I thought how much I wish I could be like Esther! I highly recommend this book to anyone that likes a good, clean thriller. I really enjoyed this book. I received this book from Bethany House for my honest opinion.
tickmenot More than 1 year ago
A Great Fall..... What if you know a financial crisis, one that could affect the entire nation, is right on the brink of happening? Esther Larsen a top-notch, brilliant risk analyst at a large bank, is sure that all the signs in the financial and banking world are pointing that way. But Esther is an introvert with only one relative, her brother Nathan. But he has been languishing in a vegetative state at a rehab center since he was in a car accident. She doesn't make waves, and without her brother to bounce ideas off of, she doesn't know what to do with her fears. Despite Esther being a loner, she has attended some get-togethers with people from her church. This bunch of people are determined to find out about quiet Esther, and it is because of them that her life changes. When they start probing about her life, she not only opens up to them, but confides her biggest fear. She explains she is concerned that a conspiracy is forming with the goal of making billions of dollars, but by doing so, it could cause an economic market crash worse than the one that took place in 2008. After admitting her fears, her life takes some abrupt turns. Esther suddenly finds she is in big demand as a speaker before large crowds, as well as, on television. She discovers herself rubbing shoulders, and being befriended by, a rich and powerful man who catches her vision. She also finds a man who just might be someone to build a future with--if he can handle the truth when he begs her not to hold back. Esther also learns her life may be in danger! She really identifies with her namesake from the Bible, Queen Esther, who also had to speak out, even if it meant risking her safety. This is a fast moving thriller with interesting characters. When reading this, the reader will feel like this is not so much a book of fiction, but a warning about something that could take place in real life. But I have to admit that the first part of the book was really difficult for me to get into. Despite the author being a great writer, there were so many technical banking and trading terms, that I found it hard to digest so much information. After that, the story focused more on the people, and I really got caught up in all the action. The author is a great story-teller, and I recommend this 5-star book to anyone who enjoys real-life possibilities presented in a fictional wrapper. Bethany House Publishing has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of The Domino Effect, for the purpose of review. I have not been compensated in any other manner. All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
annelr More than 1 year ago
The Domino Effect by Davis Bunn is a contemporary novel that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The book is a timely and rather frightening story of a highly probable financial catastrophe. Esther, a top financial analyst at a major US investment organization, has been watching and keeping records of the investment markets for almost a decade. She is convinced that certifiable factors are in play and the time is right for a worldwide economic collapse. Is she in place for such a time as this? "What possible good could come from the actions of just one person?" Will she be able to figure out what is happening in time to prevent the investment disaster? The story is fast-paced, laced with action, danger, tension, and a little romance. Characters are strong and believable. Although Esther is brilliant in the financial field she is quite fragile emotionally in her personal life. The author skillfully depicts her as she takes leadership and begins to realize she is not alone. Bunn does a decent job of explaining the investment market. With lots of words like hedge funds, derivatives, algorithms, points of inflection and speculative investments a reader could get lost but the author creatively uses a TV interview show scenario throughout the book to help define and clarify the whos, whats, and whys of the financial world. The Domino Effect is a thought-provoking book that brings to the forefront the urgent need for a financial system built on trust. I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
annelr More than 1 year ago
The Domino Effect by Davis Bunn is a contemporary novel that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The book is a timely and rather frightening story of a highly probable financial catastrophe. Esther, a top financial analyst at a major US investment organization, has been watching and keeping records of the investment markets for almost a decade. She is convinced that certifiable factors are in play and the time is right for a worldwide economic collapse. Is she in place for such a time as this? "What possible good could come from the actions of just one person?" Will she be able to figure out what is happening in time to prevent the investment disaster? The story is fast-paced, laced with action, danger, tension, and a little romance. Characters are strong and believable. Although Esther is brilliant in the financial field she is quite fragile emotionally in her personal life. The author skillfully depicts her as she takes leadership and begins to realize she is not alone. Bunn does a decent job of explaining the investment market. With lots of words like hedge funds, derivatives, algorithms, points of inflection and speculative investments a reader could get lost but the author creatively uses a TV interview show scenario throughout the book to help define and clarify the whos, whats, and whys of the financial world. The Domino Effect is a thought-provoking book that brings to the forefront the urgent need for a financial system built on trust. I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
theskett More than 1 year ago
The Domino Effect has all readers could want – an engaging story, non-stop action, characters we care about who also care about each other. I was hooked from the start. The various story lines are woven together perfectly – written by a master at his craft. Although the ending is satisfying, Bunn left the door wide open for more of the story. I’ll wait in hopeful expectation!
Jani417 More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding thriller; one of the best of its kind. It grabs the reader on page one and holds tightly throughout. Readers will solve the financial crisis puzzle along with heroine Esther Larsen and will get to know and admire her as well. The story never slows down and readers may feel out of breath as the story ends. Esther has some insecurities and fears that are exposed and addressed as she uncovers evidence that indicates an impending collapse of the global economy. Esther’s confidence and faith builds as she learns to follow her instincts, which are clearly Spirit sent. In addition to entertainment, The Domino Effect also teaches a lot about economic processes, investing, ethics and more. There is also a lesson about what a huge difference one person can make in the world, especially one being guided the right way. I was given a free copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers in return for an honest review. I highly recommend it to all who enjoy a good, fast-paced thriller. This includes teen readers.
LilacDreams More than 1 year ago
Like the ancient Queen Esther, for whom she was named, Esther Larsen was born for such a time as saving the world from economic disaster. She works as a risk analyst at a North Carolina bank. She’s concerned about risky trading strategies, not only at her bank, but worldwide. A dedicated loner, she feels led to share the elaborate what-if scenario she believes will soon take place. Her website,, is established and soon has thousands of visitors. She’s asked to appear on news shows. Her bank employers are threatened, and develop sinister plans. And she meets a man she is drawn to. I had a bit of a hard time getting through the first few pages. Esther may be a mathematical genius, but I am definitely not. It doesn’t matter though. Once into it, all the algorithms or whatnot flow with the story. And the story paints a frightful picture. How much does it reflect today’s banking establishment? Are my retirement funds safe? Another thriller from Davis Bunn. I received a free copy from the publisher for my honest review.
GrandaddyA More than 1 year ago
Another thought-provoking novel from Davis Bunn. Besides being a master storyteller, Bunn has the education and work experience in international economics and finance to give credence to stories like this. Frankly, he may be closer to the truth about the economic condition of our country and world than any of us want to believe. Whether or not that is the case, I got totally engrossed and did not want to put the book down. I love the backstory of Esther and her father’s choice of that name for her because of his love for the book of Esther in the Bible. It was almost as if he had a glimpse into the future and saw the vital role she would one day play. As the story opens, Esther seems to live in a shell and barely allows anyone to get close to her. I enjoyed reading as she gradually came out of her shell, letting more and more people into her world. For a person who was absorbed almost totally by her job, her only other involvements were church and a once-a-month gathering with a small group of friends. Even in a crowd, she was basically alone, enclosed in her protective covering. She was quite aware of what was happening around her but had minimal social interaction beyond the essentials necessary to do her job as a risk analyst in the investment division of a major U.S. banking institution. She was brilliant as an analyst and could foresee the direction the decisions of the investment division were taking the bank and ultimately the impact on the economy. She was also totally attuned to the world economic situation. Esther knew she needed to do something but unfortunately she did not have an uncle to give her guidance like Esther in the Bible had. Her only living relative was lying in a hospital bed in a rehab center where he had been for months following a serious car accident that took the life of his wife and unborn child. Esther’s predicament is very similar to that of Queen Esther – making a move will put her job and even her life at risk but not making a move will risk an international catastrophe. The dominoes are all being set in place and a bully is waiting to tap the first one. I highly recommend this book. It actually speaks much more clearly to me than all of the infomercials on Facebook and the internet warning the American people about the coming economic crash. Unlike the infomercials, the story does not play on the emotions to attempt to convince the reader to buy anything. However, the suspense will grab you and not let go until the end. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher in exchange for my honest review.