Wednesday, January 06, 2010

TOP PRODUCER by Norb Vonnegut (Minotaur Books)

Nothing beats the pace of Wall Street—the adrenaline rush—the unbelievable highs or the depths of the lows—not even murder? Grover O’Rourke is a top producer of wealth at the firm of Sachs, Kidder & Carnegie or SKC as it is known on the street. Grove works for the division that manages client’s money. He was flying high until 18 months ago when his wife and daughter were killed in a horrific automobile accident. The driver of an 18 wheeler fell asleep at the wheel and crushed their car.

Now Grover is attending his second funeral in 18 months. His best friend, mentor and head of the Kelemen Group, Charlie Kelemen, has been murdered. Charlie was throwing a birthday bash for his wife, Sam, at the Boston Aquarium for a small gathering of 500. When Grove and some of Charlie’s friends go looking for him, they find him weighed down in the shark tank. Before anyone can do anything, Charlie is killed and mangled by the sharks. It isn’t too long after the funeral that Sam comes to Grover and asks for his help. She has no money—all of Charlie’s assets are either well hidden or missing.

And so starts Norb Vonnegut’s initial novel. Yes, Vonnegut is Kurt Vonnegut’s nephew, but this book squarely stands on its own. Please do not let the vernacular of Wall Street throw you a curve. Knowing a little of the arcane language of Wall Street helps but isn’t essential to enjoying a good murder mystery. You do not have to know exactly what derivatives are or puts and calls or hedge funds or junk bonds to enjoy this first endeavor by Norb Vonnegut.

--Stephen Bank works at the Cary Public Library

FTC full disclosure - book provided by the publisher


Mary Kennedy said...

This looks absolutely terrific, and I'd already marked it as one of my "must-reads." A mystery set in the high-flying world of Wall Street sounds wonderful. How did Mr. Vonnegut chose this setting? I'm really looking forward to hearing more about this book.

spyder said...

Believe he worked on Wall Street for a number of years. He used his expertise acquired there and combined it with a story from today's headlines to create a pretty good mystery for a first novel
Steve Bank