‘An action packed tale’. Terry reviews THE GRIFTER by Sean Campbell and Ali Gunn, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Terry. She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading The Grifter by Sean Campbell and Ali Gunn

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3.5 stars

An action packed tale about James, whose life was ruined by crooked financier Kent Bancroft, and his plans to retrieve his lost half a million pounds.  It’s also about Kent himself, and how the life of a rich man does not always run as smoothly as you might think.
What I liked about this book:

  • The structure – ever since reading Jeffrey Archer’s Kane and Abel decades ago, I’ve adored alternate POV books, especially when, as with this, the lives are poles apart.
  • The pace – the book marches along with just the right amount of inner narrative versus events – there are no boring waffle bits, the characters are well-developed, and all the backstory is nicely woven in at just the right time.  This is something that you may not notice unless it isn’t right (like how you don’t notice if something is clean, but you do notice if it isn’t) – getting it spot on is an art.  
  • The writing style – flowing and so readable, so much so that I wasn’t tempted to skip-read even when I wasn’t too sure about the content itself.  
  • The quality of the research that had clearly taken place, about the financial detail, life as a homeless person, the art world and other aspects throughout the book.
  • The basic storyline, which appealed to me as soon as I read about it.

What I was not so sure about:

  • There were way too many errors that editor/proofreader should have picked up on, such as the phrase ‘the gig is up’ instead of ‘the jig is up’, Marlborough cigarettes instead of Marlboro, multiple instances of the word ‘invite’ that should have been ‘invitation’ (unlikely to occur at this level of society), numerous backwards apostrophes at the beginning of words. 
  • I wasn’t convinced that an exclusive gym patronised by the aristocracy would be called ‘MuscleBound’, which sounds more like an establishment owned by Phil Mitchell from EastEnders.  It’s only a small thing but it really stood out to me.
  • The story development, which I thought needed more thinking through; many developments/details seemed a tad unfeasible.  An example: a rich financier sharp enough to con thousands of people out of millions but doesn’t have an efficient alarm and CCTV system at his house.  

To sum up, if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief, it’s a jolly good, fun book that zips along, entertains and keeps you turning the pages, and for this I commend it; being able to tell a story that amuses and keeps the attention is indeed a talent worthy of note.  Everyone has different levels of belief suspension, and mine are particularly low; most of the reviews for this book are very positive indeed.

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One will rise. The other will fall.

Kent Bancroft’s rise to fame and fortune was nothing short of meteoric. Once a simple teacher in London’s East End, he’s now on course to become Britain’s youngest billionaire.

But his success has come on the back of those he’s trodden upon to get there. Among them is a man whose fall was as swift as Kent’s rise. He used to be a sparky until a freak accident robbed him of one leg.

And then Kent Bancroft robbed him of everything else.

Forget forgiveness. Forget turning the other cheek. And forget waiting for karma.

This is a victim who won’t stand idly by.

He wants revenge.

And he’s going to get it.

Kent Bancroft will never see him coming.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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A #FinancialThriller Set In London. Noelle Reviews The Grifter by by @GunnCrime and Sean Campbell @DCIMorton

Today’s team review is from Noelle. She blogs here https://saylingaway.wordpress.com

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Noelle has been reading The Grifter by Ali Gunn And Sean Campbell

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I bought this book for review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team, and I impressed even myself with this selection. The book is a cracking good story.

The Grifter’s storyline is not particularly fun at the beginning, where the authors introduce us to two characters at the opposite ends of the spectrum: Kent Bancroft, on a meteoric ride to be England’s newest billionaire and James, a begrimed homeless man, doing his best to survive on the streets of London. But they are linked. Inextricably.

Bancroft’s success has come from the investments of what he sees as “little people,” robbing them of their money to provide returns for those who matter to him – people with money and status – who bring him more investors with money and status. One of those little people was James, now a one-legged man as the result of an electrical accident at his work site. And a man with no retirement nest egg and who lost his wife and children when he couldn’t find any work to support them. James’ main goal in life is to get even. But how?

He begins by stalking Bancroft to determine the best place to confront him, then accosting him. In the kerfuffle, Bancroft loses his wallet, and the money in it allows James to design a path to revenge, but not without setbacks. There is also a microSD card hidden in the wallet which sits there in the reader’s memory until these interlocking stories reach a final confrontation.

The story of James’ life on the street is fascinating – how he gets around, where he sleeps, how he feeds himself. He’s also quite a character, not educated or intuitively smart but dogged in his pursuit of Bancroft. The scene where he uses Bancroft’s gym membership card to sneak into Musclebound Fitness to get a shower is hysterical. James’ world is populated by compelling characters such as Fat Baz, an grossly overweight homeless man who has a problem with gaseous emissions, but who knows people who know people.

Bancroft is a weasel, no doubt, and one who is heavily in debt. He has a rapacious second wife who serves as his eye candy, an equally greedy first wife who is determined to insult the second and wheedle more money from Bancroft, and a spoiled daughter for whom nothing is too expensive as long as her father pays for it. With her upcoming nuptials, she is determined to have the wedding of the year or perhaps the decade. In addition, he finds that he bought a painting of dubious provenance at a fund-raising auction for £25 million, something he was too drunk to remember. He restarts his mechanism for attracting lower class investors to obtain money to pay his debts, but it’s not enough.

James’ struggle to deal with his feelings of impotent fury resonates well, since we all have been wronged at one time or other without the power to do anything about it. I even developed some feelings of sympathy for the hapless Bancroft who is unwilling or unable to stop the drain of money by reining in his wives and daughter. He has somehow managed to keep all this from his partner, who handles the digital part of the firm. But for how long?

The authors obviously did some real research of the homeless in London and their knowledge of high end finance is also clear.  This has resulted in some great story telling, relatively fast-paced. The chapters alternate between James and Bancroft, with James’ chapters being written in first person while Bancroft’s are in third person. This makes James’ character and motivation personal, while Bancroft seems to be at sea, buffeted by the people around him and his bankrupt company.

I couldn’t quite find a category for The Grifter.  It’s not a mystery, not spy story, not really a psychological turn nor a family story. Maybe a thriller? Nevertheless, I really recommend this book for someone looking for an unorthodox but fun read.

Desc 1

One will rise. The other will fall.

Kent Bancroft’s rise to fame and fortune was nothing short of meteoric. Once a simple teacher in London’s East End, he’s now on course to become Britain’s youngest billionaire.

But his success has come on the back of those he’s trodden upon to get there. Among them is a man whose fall was as swift as Kent’s rise. He used to be a sparky until a freak accident robbed him of one leg.

And then Kent Bancroft robbed him of everything else.

Forget forgiveness. Forget turning the other cheek. And forget waiting for karma.

This is a victim who won’t stand idly by.

He wants revenge.

And he’s going to get it.

Kent Bancroft will never see him coming.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT EXPOSURE by @RoseEdmunds Finance #Thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Liz, she blogs here, https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Liz has been reading Exposure by Rose Edmunds

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The return of Crazy Amy in this nail-biting story, opens with drama and amusement. You have no need to have read Rose Edmunds’ previous book, Concealment as you will soon know a great deal about Amy and her devilish alter ego, Little Amy, within the first few pages. But Amy is a highly intelligent, talented lady who has discovered a conscience and after the loss of her well-paid, city career in London, she needs a project.

Returning to her life is old-flame Toby Marchpole, an investigative financial journalist. While prying into possible fraud at IPT plc, a distributer and retailer of plumbing components, he is shocked to see the firm’s finance director, Venner collapse in front of him, spluttering, “Tell Amy….” He soon discovers that Venner was a former colleague of Amy Robinson and realises that it’s time to renew their friendship.

I know nothing of city finance, but then I also know nothing about spies or murder, so what is important is that the thrilling events keep me reading and the complexities of the fraudulent actions are clearly explained. This is a story which is a worthwhile read for two reasons; Amy’s adventures keep you on a knife edge and at the same time you warm to her flawed personality, longing for her to find happiness.

Adopting a new identity, Amy is unsure whether to trust Toby and she is sometimes unwise in those she does choose as trustworthy. Once again, she encounters DCI Carmody, with whom she had hoped for a relationship, but he is chilly and judgemental, knowing her failings and trying to deny his own feelings.

This book stands alone as an enjoyable, exciting page-turner but I would also recommend Concealment either before or after reading Exposure, and you never know, Amy may return for another adventure after the exciting final twist in this story.
I reviewed this book as a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.

Book Description

City high-flyer Amy has crashed and burned. Fresh out of rehab and with her career in tatters, the sudden death of an old friend propels her into an illicit undercover fraud investigation.

But Amy’s in way over her head. The assignment quickly turns sour, pitching her into a nightmare where no one can be trusted and nothing is what it seems.

In mortal danger, and with enemies old and new conspiring against her, Amy’s resilience is tested to the limit as she strives to defeat them and rebuild her life.

About the author

Rose Edmunds

Rose Edmunds lives in Brighton with her husband David. She gained a degree in mathematics at the University of Sussex and a PhD from Cardiff University, before qualifying as a chartered accountant and embarking on a successful career advising entrepreneurial businesses together with their owners. In 2007, after more than 20 years working for leading accountancy firms, she jumped off the corporate hamster wheel and now writes financial thrillers with a strong ethical theme. Her writing draws heavily on her considerable insight into the business world and in particular the uncomfortable conflict between individual and corporate objectives. Rose is also a trustee of Brightside, a charity helping young people to access career and education opportunities they might not have believed were available to them. 

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT EXPOSURE by @RoseEdmunds Financial #Thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s second team post is from Terry, she blogs here http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Exposure by Rose Edmunds

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EXPOSURE by Rose Edmunds

4 out of 5 stars

This is the standalone sequel to Concealment, which I read two years ago; I have the worst memory in the world, so Exposure read as a one-off to me.  Thus, I can confirm that you don’t need to read Concealment first, though of course it’s always helpful ~ and I think it might be equally as interesting to read it afterwards.

I’d describe this novel as half way between a financial and a psychological thriller.  Occasionally the financial terminology went over my head, but it’s written in such a way that I got the gist.  One thing I did like very much was the way the novel was structured; there are lots of point of view and situation changes at just the right time, it’s extremely well-edited, with plenty of dangling, suspenseful threads at the ends of chapters to make you think, “I wonder what’s going to happen there….?”  The whole novel is dialogue-led; there is little narrative, and the pace never lets up.  Murder, deception, financial fraud, international skullduggery toxic relationships ~ it has all the ingredients of a popular page-turner.

Rose Edmunds’ Amy shows clever characterisation; she is bound to cause definite reactions amongst those who read her.  The daughter of a hoarder, she grew up with all sorts of psychological problems that led her to being exceptionally ambitious and obsessed with the material, and the outward show of success.  In the last book, circumstances came together to make all this come crashing down, and Exposure deals with the new, more self-aware Amy who is still trying to deal with the remnants of the old.  She’s not particularly likeable; she knows it’s nasty and superficial of her to judge a female colleague on being (horrors!) 20 lbs overweight and wearing the ‘wrong’ clothes, but she can’t help it.  She’s unsympathetic to the woman whose husband was in love with her – she tries to overcome the self-destructive within her, but always struggles.  Her complex character makes for some interesting relationship dynamics, indeed, and we learn more about her backstory in this book, too. 

My favourite character was financial blogger Toby Marchpole ~ I was most interested in his wife, an old schoolfriend of Amy’s, and their marriage.  I also enjoyed Amy’s observations about the dreadful Pedley, her boss for part of the book (when she goes undercover…. I’ll leave you to find out about that!).

It’s a well thought out plot, and I’m sure readers of smart, fast-paced contemporary thrillers will enjoy it very much ~ there’s certainly no opportunity to get bored!

Book Description

City high-flyer Amy has crashed and burned. Fresh out of rehab and with her career in tatters, the sudden death of an old friend propels her into an illicit undercover fraud investigation. 
But Amy’s in way over her head. The assignment quickly turns sour, pitching her into a nightmare where no one can be trusted and nothing is what it seems. 
In mortal danger, and with enemies old and new conspiring against her, Amy’s resilience is tested to the limit as she strives to defeat them and rebuild her life.

About the author

Rose Edmunds

For more than 20 years, Rose Edmunds almost passed as normal, working undercover in several well-known financial firms in London while quietly gathering material for her novels.

Since jumping off the corporate hamster wheel Rose now writes thrillers with a strong ethical theme. Her writing draws heavily on her considerable insight into business world and in particular the uncomfortable conflict between capitalism and humanity. 

Rose’s debut thriller, Never Say Sorry, was about a Big Pharma conspiracy to suppress a cancer cure. Since then, she has been working on the Crazy Amy thriller series—an ambitious project which will follow the brilliant but unstable Amy Robinson on her journey from senior finance executive to who knows where…

You can find out more by checking out Rose’s website at www.roseedmunds.co.uk or on Facebook at Rose Edmunds – Author Page. Via the website, you can also join the Crazy Amy VIP Fan Club, for exclusive access to free bonus Crazy Amy short stories and other exciting offers. There is also a closed Facebook group for club members.

Rose lives in Brighton with her husband David.

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