Kaye George had a thriller as her subject of review last week with Most Wanted. She does it again this week to start off August with the fifth book in the Louis Morgon series titled The Capitalist. If you want to read the series in order start with Le Crime.
The Capitalist by Peter Steiner
This is a tale of jaded, cynical characters pitted against a two corrupt international industries, clothing and banking.
The main bad guy, St. John (pronounced SIN-jun) Larrimer, is a man who fancies himself the logical product of present-day world economics, free from moral and political constraints. He bilks anyone he can for his own personal profit and sees nothing wrong in what he’s doing. St. John sneers at Bernard Madoff because he got caught. The story also concerns the many whose lives he ruins when he absconds to the Caribbean with the stolen money after the 2008 market crash.
A horribly maintained sweat shop in Pakistan makes high-end silk pocket squares, ones that St. John loves to wear. When a fire breaks out, many are killed and one, Abinaash Chandha, an intelligent sixteen-year-old seamstress is left burnt and disfigured. Her story of recovery runs in the background as we follow St. John, his cronies, his former-now-ruined secretary, and Louis Morgon, a disgraced ex-CIA agent who is also a talented painter and determined to get justice when several people close to him are tragically affected by the thief. Morgon is an interesting character, another one who disdains conventional morals. His world view is easier to swallow, though, and he functions quite well as the nimble good guy here, though in his seventies.
Some tricky, fascinating spy/detective work goes on and pulls the reader through to the exciting ending. I won’t call it a conclusion because I have the distinct feeling that this war of wits is to be continued.
Reviewed by Kaye George, author of Eine Kleine Murder, for Suspense Magazine