Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday With Kaye: "The Last Trade" by James Conway (Reviewed by Kaye George)

It is thriller time (way quieter than “Hammer Time”) as Kaye George reviews The Last Trade by James Conway. Make sure you check out her other “Monday With Kaye” segments while you are here as it is quite the reading list.

The Last Trade by James Conway

Strange as it may sound, this is a financial thriller. One might think finance couldn’t be all that thrilling, but one would have to think again. In Conway’s hands, it is.

The action starts in March of 2008 when a series of short trades starts an evil ball rolling. I’m not sure I understand what a short trade is, but that’s not necessary to appreciate what happens. If you do know what it is, I imagine your enjoyment will escalate as you read this account of what happens when a few greedy people manipulate a whole lot of rich investors. The mortgage crisis of 2008 wasn’t bad for everyone. A hedge fund called Rising Fund made a killing, thanks to Drew Havens.

Havens works as a “quant” for Rising Fund. That means he quantifies market numbers, but more than that, he predicts with startling accuracy what the market will do. He’s a different sort of person, low on interpersonal skills, and one who sees the world in black and white. He’s the Spock of the financial world, concentrating only on his job, which has cost him, to his deep regret, his marriage. Havens took on a young protégé named Danny Weiss, who wants to know what makes the world go round: love or money. Weiss and Havens may be the only two honest employees at Rising Fund. That gets them into a lot of trouble. Danny uncovers a horrific plot and, paranoid about what he’s found, starts texting cryptic messages to Havens who, at first, ignores them. Later, he finds he shouldn’t have.

The plot goes global as traders start ending up dead. In six action-packed days, Havens must decipher what’s going on—and stop it. There are other interesting characters from around the world who work to help Havens stop the growing menace to the world economy, and more.

For a book about money and trading, this was, I must say, a thriller of a page-turner!

Reviewed by Kaye George, Author of Smoke for Suspense Magazine


Morgan Mandel said...

Some people know numbers, others, words. Still others can do both.
I'm a word person, and have a hard time with numbers.

I admire people who can work well with numbers. I can see how the manipulative ones can hoodwink others like me. Also, the ones with no scruples can even fool those who think they know what they're doing.

Kaye George said...

You're right. It wouldn't take much to fool me with numbers.