Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Darlings by Cristina Alger

One of the better fiction books I've read coming out of the Wall Street meltdown.  This is the first novel for Alger who went to Harvard and has worked as an analyst at Goldman Sachs and as a lawyer at Wilmer, Cutler so that probably helps her get a lot of the details down (for example her descriptions of Upper East Side ladies who list "philanthropist" as their occupation, corrupt lawyers and greasy analysts).  The story starts with the apparent suicide of Morty who ran a successful investment fund which turns out to be a Ponzi scheme.  Then Alger carefully weaves together the fallout from the perspective of participants in the fraud, their family members, unwitting accomplices, those fingered to take the fall, and even the SEC investigators assigned to the case.  There are many characters which occasionally gets confusing but it's worth working through the confusion (sometimes you have to go back and re-read a bit to remember who someone was) to reach the resolution.  It's predictable in a way but the twists and turns made me question whether my guesses about some of the outcomes were accurate or not.  I won't say much more so I don't give a way the end...

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