Archive for the ‘financial crime’ Category

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West Of The City

Author: Grant Sutherland
Published: 28 November 2015
Reviewed: 07 December 2015
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Fahrenheit Press in return for an honest review.

4 out of 5 stars  


Things could scarcely get worse for Raef Carlton – his marriage is on the rocks and his family-owned merchant bank is threatened by a hostile takeover. 

But then Daniel Stewart, Raef’s closest friend and Carlton’s treasurer is found shot dead at point-blank range and Raef’s life really plunges into free fall.

Merchant Banking is never without risk, daring or intensity, but for Carlton Brothers, the risk and intensity is all too real.  Arriving at work after the Christmas party, Raef Carlton doesn’t realise that business is about change forever.  Daniel, his closest friend and bank treasurer won’t be coming to work today, or ever again, he’s been shot dead at point blank range and the police want answers.
As Inspector Ryan delves into Daniel’s private and professional life things are uncovered that Raef is uncomfortable with.  Why did Daniel die that way, what was he up to that would result in him being shot?  Could it have been someone from the bank?  Just when Raef thought it couldn’t get any worse, there is word of scandal afoot in the bank, fraud is taking place and it will bring Carlton Brothers to the very point of collapse.  Raef struggles to wade through the trades, deals and markets to find out who could be behind this all, to see if Daniel was involved all whilst trying to continue with running the bank and dealing with a personal life that lies in tatters, his marriage is dissolving fast, he realises all too late that by building up the bank he’s pushed his wife and family to the side and has neglected them.

As the pace builds to the big reveal of “whodunnit” you really find yourself hooked, you want to know what happened to Daniel and why, but more importantly, what’s going to happen to Raef and the bank. 
To quote Shakespeare, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”, but just how deep does the rot go?  With twists and turns aplenty, it’s difficult to guess who is the most manipulative character, who the murderer is or even how it will end up, but one thing’s for sure you will struggle to put this down!

Sutherland’s time as a stockbroker shows with the in-depth detail of market trading that takes place in this story, but there is enough information there that it is easy to pick up what’s going on.  For someone with no experience of the financial intricacies of this story I managed to keep up with the trades and deals without feeling too lost. 

The writing shows great skill, there’s a depth to this you just can’t find in a lot of books,  definitely a feel of a Le Carré or Jeffrey Archer book, the ability to layer mystery, intrigue and brilliance makes this stand up next to the works of these great authors and could easily be classed as a “good old fashioned thriller”. 

I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys Fiction, Financial Thrillers, Crime and Mystery Genres. 

I would like to thank Fahrenheit Press for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book was published on 28th November 2015, a copy can be purchased here West Of The City (UK Kindle Version)

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A Cold Death In Amsterdam

Author : Anja De Jager
Published: 05 November 2015
Reviewed: 02 November 2015
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Little, Brown Book Group UK in return for an honest review.

3 out of 5 stars



Set in Amsterdam, the novel introduces Lotte Meerman, a Cold Case detective still recovering from the emotional devastation of her previous investigation. A tip-off leads Lotte to an unresolved ten-year-old murder case in which her father was the lead detective. 
When she discovers irregularities surrounding the original investigation that make him a suspect, she decides to cover for him. She doesn’t tell her boss about the family connection and jeopardises her career by hiding evidence. Now she has to find the real murderer before her acts are discovered, otherwise her father will go to jail and she will lose her job, the one thing in life she still takes pride in . . .
It’s an icy New Year in Amsterdam and Lotte Meerman is struggling with her personal demons as well as professional ones after a tough previous case.  When she stumbles upon a new case things are about to get tougher, darker and a whole lot murkier for our protagonist.
The irregularities in a cold case have the new investigating team scratching their heads, for Lotte there is too much at stake, the lead detective was her father, but the investigating officer in Amsterdam was her boss….so where does the blame lie for things not being done right 10 years ago? 
With her colleagues in CID and Financial Fraud, Lotte delves into the case to try and untangle what happened to the murder victim, who killed him, why the evidence doesn’t tie up and just how her father is connected to all of this, all whilst keeping everyone in the dark who her father is. 

Lotte is a multi layered character, on the one hand she is an able detective that can seek out truth and information just by sitting back and thinking things over, but in her personal life, she is a mess.  She doesn’t understand why things went wrong for her parents, why their marriage split up and her mother was so resentful, why her own marriage had to end so terribly, or worst of all how she could make such a foolish mistake of being taken in by such an appalling, despicable murderer.   

The physical descriptions in this book are good, the detail about the snow and ice were good, you could almost see the frost patterns sprouting across the car windscreen, or the picturesque snowy landscapes, but this attention to detail was a little too much when it came to the financial elements of the crime.  I found it hard to stay focused and interested when so much detail was being given on something so vastly over my head, I appreciate it’s core to the case and it the explanation is there to help the reader understand the why and the what for, but for someone with no experience with stocks, shares and the Market it was a little off putting and I will admit I did skip bits and pieces as I had no idea what was being talked about.

That being said, this is a good thriller, there are the usual key elements for a good thriller here, it’s a well paced novel, the characters are interesting enough (on the whole) to keep you reading, and the development of Lotte is done very well so that you want to keep reading to find out more about her, and to find out about her previous case that has left her floundering. 

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Fiction, Crime Fiction, and Thriller genres.  But be warned, the case central to the investigation is heavy on financial crime so it can be a little heavy going.  
I would like to thank Little, Brown Book Group UK for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book will be published on 5th November 2015, a copy can be purchased here A Cold Death In Amsterdam (UK Kindle Version)

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