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Enjoyable old-fashioned blockbuster novel
on 14 August 2012
The success of this novel is a very modern phenomenon, Christopher Smith having self-published on Kindle and cracked the Amazon best seller lists without a big publishing house behind him. You can't say he hasn't earned his success. The book also contains many modern details, the banking crash and high tech trappings of parts of the story. Apart from that though, what you've got here is basically a straight-ahead, good old fashioned blockbuster novel that used to dominate airport bookshops once upon a time. And it's perfectly enjoyable for all that.
Smith cranks up all the key elements of this lost genre: opposing business conglomerates (and this is the only place that still calls such things conglomerates these days), dominated by patrician heads of the family. Murky boardroom dealings underpinned by violent skullduggery behind the scenes, characters driven by ambition, neuroses and their guilty secrets. And a tidy helping of various Mafiosos and bad guys acting as agents provocateurs.
It's old fashioned in style and the writing is effective without too many thrills, but it the pages pretty much turn themselves and it builds to an explosive climax with plenty of twists and turns along the way. For an entertaining read that's not too heavy, you could do a lot worse, and hats off to the guy for putting himself on the best seller list.