Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Darlings by Cristina Alger

I wouldn’t have thought that a novel set during a financial crisis would keep me up late into the night, but Cristina Alger’s debut novel, The Darlings, did just that.  The fast-moving plot and interesting characters provide great reading.  The backdrop for the novel is New York City during the financial crisis of 2008.

Paul Ross is the young General Counsel at his father-in-law’s hedge fund. He has been at the firm only a few months.   A tragedy brings the firm under the scrutiny of the SEC and Paul must decide where his loyalties lie when it becomes obvious that the firm has been involved in a Madoff-like ponzi scheme.  Over the Thanksgiving long weekend, members of the family, the firm, the SEC, and the media, race to cover-up or uncover the truth.

The author has worked as an analyst at Goldman Sachs and as an attorney in New York City.  The financial and legal details in this novel are not overly technical, nor are they dumbed down, hitting just the right tone.  The characters are the movers and shakers in the world’s financial capital: ambitious –yes; wealthy – some of them; likeable – mostly not; fascinating – definitely.  

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