I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I thought there was a chance that I would read a few pages and chuck it on to the "some other time" pile, but Justin Cartwright, first of all, is a wonderful writer. The plot was crisply handled and the book was the perfect length at 258 pages. I like a writer to show restraint.
The characters are fleshed out nicely we are exposed to their weaknesses and their strengths as the novel progresses. Cartwright does not waste our time with stereotypical characters. If he brings a character to life he deftly fills in the shadows and light that make up a real human being.
Cartwright only delved into the shallow end of the huge banking crisis that is facing Julian Trevelyan-Tubal which I think was a great decision because getting into the technicalities of the issue would have weighed down the plot and certainly bloated the book unnecessarily.
I shouldn't like Julian because he is the British version of the type of privileged few that hold 90% of the wealth in this country. As I follow Julian in his trials and tribulations with trying to save an institution that has existed for eleven generations I start to feel sympathy for his situation. I start to root for him to win. The shell game that Julian is playing trying to sell the bank, hold off the press, and keep a lid on the precarious situation so that the public does not make a run on the bank (Julian wouldn't have done nearly as well as George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life").
"The money simply imploded. It no longer exists. Nobody can explain it." That pretty much explains the whole banking crisis that brought capitalism to it's knees.