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Martin David, an eager but inexperienced financial analyst, is the newest member of the investment team at Skeiron Capital Partners in London. His boss is an avowed financial genius, but he’s also overbearing and intense. Despite his erratic behaviour, Martin can’t help being drawn to him both professionally and personally.
Too bad his boss doesn’t seem to feel the same. In a firm where pedigree and connections mean far more than Martin’s newly-minted business degree, Martin feels desperately inadequate—at least until he meets the enigmatic investment manager Alec Berger, who promises to help Martin establish himself in the financial community. Martin is so charmed by Alec’s sophistication and wit that he gives him data that should have stayed confidential.
Then the financial crisis hits. Banks burn, companies teeter on the brink, and Skeiron’s survival is at stake. Martin is pushed into the middle of the fight for Skeiron—against both the tanking economy and a ruthless enemy who’s stepped out of the shadows to collect the spoils.
Yes Voinov, yes! This is what I’ve been waiting for. This is exactly what I’ve missed.
I’ll be honest and say that I was a little ambivalent about reading this story. To be clear, I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, and the fact that this story is categorized as a “financial thriller” had me thinking that most of it would go over my head. But no. Fear not, The Voinov knows what he’s doing. He will not steer you wrong. Granted, there are moments that are very heavy on the “finance talk” and I got lost amongst a lot of it, but it didn’t stop me from continuing, because as always, the story is driven by enigmatic characters that draw you in.
The characters are fierce. They’re ambitious and powerful. They show no wavering to “nice” or “polite” protocol – and I love that. Don’t get me wrong, the characters that we call “our own” have heart, but they’re far from typical characters, too. And that makes me want to stand on a rooftop and scream at the top of my lungs “THIS IS FUCKING AWESOME! DO YOURSELVES A FAVOR AND READ THIS BOOK IMMEDIATELY!”. But alas, I can’t. Not everybody is ready to hear the words and understand them.
I adored the intense prologue and was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Even when the opening scene was revisited in the story, I still found the whole thing fascinating and the anticipation of “what next?” kept driving me forward. Just that alone was worth the whole ride. The side characters and their actions were intriguing and calculating. The intricate web of designed betrayal, self preservation and greed, astounded me. It’s a play-by-play account of how the economy (and those in the middle of it) screwed people over.
In the end I’m left with the memories of the characters. Martin, Francis and Josh are wonderfully crafted characters that moved me. They made me stop and think. Josh, in particular, had a calm self-acceptance that grabbed me by the throat. He used simple words to great effect. Yet all three had more humility and wisdom than I was expecting (in all fairness I should have known to expect more – because this is The Voinov, and The Voinov knows his characters very, very well.). I imagine he nurtures them and watches them grow into complete beings before he hands them over for our indulgence. And I’m grateful.
If you’re lucky enough to have a finance background (or just a mediocre understanding of banking/finance), you’ll love the fuck out of this book. If you’re like me, you’ll relish stepping out of the “normal (<– I hate that word) romance” box and find a thrilling story.
Title: Return on Investment
Author: Aleksandr Voinov
Release Date: July 11, 2014
Purchase Links: Amazon