Pub Date 27 Feb 2018
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“We facilitate financial transactions for a fee. That is what we call the Vig.”
The most corrupt decade in Wall Street history was a good time to steal a little bit of money from a lot of people.
Meet Frank McGinley. He has a penchant for vodka and a head for numbers. As an equity options specialist on the American Stock Exchange, he discovers a scam which diverts small amounts from thousands of trading accounts into the pockets of a con man. Forty grand in an envelope is passed to him across the table. It may be enough to make Frank look the other way.
Before he decides to cash the check or tear it up, he’s caught up in a federal investigation of a Ponzi schemer with a violent flair.
Frank is soon pitted against a seductive assassin and a corrupt federal agent who both want him dead.
To survive Frank will have to think like the killers. Take it to them and risk a bullet to the head, since in the dark corners down town deals are made with a threat and broken with a gun.
A Note From the Publisher
Also available in Paperback
FROM KIRKUS REVIEWS:
In this debut thriller, a New York options trader finds himself in even a greater mess than the financial market. Nuckel, who was a floor trader at the American Stock Exchange of the 1990s, brings an insider’s intimacy to this tale of seriously nasty doings in a market clearing company. The story features Frank McGinley, a 38-year-old—and getting older every minute—options trader who is on a slick downward spiral that will end in his very own delisting. The aftershocks of 9/11, drink, his antiquated status as a trader and his general revulsion at the financial-market life finds him at the end of his tether when a little hush money comes his way. Despite Nuckel’s open, direct prose—which lends itself to a nicely spooky, metronomic portentousness—it’s not wholly clear whether or not Frank might be willing to cash the check, but it doesn’t matter. Before he has a chance to bank it, he gets swept up in a Justice Department/Securities Exchange Commission sting—Nuckel is good with detailing the mechanics of skimming, not to mention pungent when it comes to over-drinking: “He felt himself sinking…The falling feeling was his companion”—that finds him on the wrong side of Harrison Heywood, a vicious hustler and ringleader of the scam. Harrison, in turn, introduces Carla Pugliese, an assassin who has been buzzing various troublemakers involved with the scam, into the story. Carla is both damaged goods and superwoman, and too diaphanous a character for her earthy presence, but serves to highlight the richness of character Nuckel has given Frank and Brogan, a natty Fed. The overall story has a good tempo, keeping events pleasingly off balance, but it’s the conclusion, which is spread over dozens of pages, that shines brightest, with snappy twists and credible surprises. A taut thriller that cruises through the New York financial market, with all its blind curves and bumpy roadways, like a sports car.