Friday, June 16, 2017

Blue Trust by Stevie Cameron

This is an old book which I happened to come across and decided it looked interesting.  It tells the rather tragic story of Bruce and Lynne Verchere.  While it is written in a rather sensationalistic journalism style, the story is for the most part compelling.  At times I felt it got bogged down in name dropping and I lost track of who people were, but then the index at the end came in handy for looking back at when a person was first introduced.

Bruce Verchere was a "brilliant" tax lawyer in the late 1980s.  I put the brilliant in quotations as I think many might argue his clever tax planning strategies were too clever and crossed the line.  He formed a law firm in Montreal and tried very hard to get rich and to fit in with the well-to-do Westmount crowd.  His wife was the one who really made the money though.  She was a software expert ahead of her time, particularly for a woman.  And aided by a relationship she nurtured with IBM she developed and sold law firm management software.  Eventually she was able to sell the company for the kind of money Bruce needed to fuel his extravagant lifestyle.

Where Lynne was not so smart, was in trusting her husband's assurances that he was moving her money around for tax and estate planning purposes.  In fact he was robbing her blind - to fuel his relationships with other women and to sate his appetite for the finer things in life (homes, planes, yachts...).  Everything came to head when he fell in love with the daughter of his famous client, Arthur Hailey.  Hailey didn't approve of the relationship as he feared Verchere was after his fortune too, but his daughter was in love and eventually became pregnant with twins.

At this time Verchere's wife clued into the money situation and threatened serious legal consequences unless Bruce left his mistress and returned to her.  He did - abandoning Diane with no money of her own and pregnant with twins.  Verchere wasn't able to last long with his wife and shot himself in the head on the day the twins were born.

This is an interesting story of greed, deception, naiveté and other human failings and how they can get in the way.  It wasn't a fantastic book, more like a long newspaper article, but it had its moments.

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