The Underwriting by Michelle Miller

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The Underwriting by Michelle Miller

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Luke Marlowe
Reviewed by Luke Marlowe
Summary: A book that manages to make the murky world of tech start-ups, big money deals and, most astonishingly, underwriting look interesting, sexy and dangerous. A fun page turner that is impossible to put down.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 416 Date: June 2015
Publisher: Text Publishing Company
ISBN: 978-1922182975

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Todd Kent is young, rich, stupidly handsome, and well on his way to the top of Wall Street. When a new dating app called ‘’Hook’’ decides to go public, Todd is handpicked by Hook’s eccentric founder to lead the project team. Taking brainy analyst Neha, spoilt party-boy Beau, and old flame Tara Taylor with him, – the team find themselves thrust into the hectic circumstances of a $14 Billion deal. As Silicon Valley and Wall Street clash, the death of a young girl will find the team at odds with each other – and spinning wildly out of control.

I’ll start by admitting that, despite working in the City, and having a grandfather who has tried his best to explain the ins and outs of both the stock market and the salmon pink of the Financial Times, my knowledge of things such as IPO’s are severely limited – I had to read a Wikipedia article before I was able to understand exactly what this book was about. Thankfully, prior knowledge is not required here, and not all of the minutiae of the deal are integral to the plot, although those that are do receive an explanation when needed.

In truth, this is a book about people – how people can be damaged, bribed, and twisted, and how some people are able to rise above the grime and stay good people despite all of the temptations and corruptions on offer. The cast are interesting, well written, and easily identifiable, despite the book changing character viewpoint every chapter. These are not necessarily likable characters – three or four come across as decent, but others are completely reprehensible. Thankfully, they are great to read about – you may feel a bit grubby at times, but I was unable to stop reading.

The story may be often silly, and sometimes rather smutty (although the most gratuitous scene is done in such a clever way that the majority of the explicit details are coming from the reader themselves…). However the plot in general is strong – and I was genuinely delighted by the actions of one character in the final chapters, making this story both a combination of expose, cautionary tale, murder mystery and celebration of the strength of the human spirit.

The murder mystery starts off as seeming only tangentially connected to the main plot, but is skilfully weaved in and ends up driving the whole book to a cracking climax. Managing to hit a tone that is somewhere between The Wolf of Wall Street and The Devil Wears Prada, this is an insight into a world completely far removed to everything I know, and a good study of what makes people tick – no matter how awful they are.

I hope this will be a big hit – I may have not wanted people to know I was reading it, but I sure as hell enjoyed it!

Many thanks to the publishers for the copy

For further reading, I’d recommend The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger, who also contributes a positive review to the cover of the book. Trashy fun, the high flying and cut throat world bears some similarities to that of The Underwriting, and Tara of The Underwriting shares some characteristics with Andy of The Devil Wears Prada – although isn’t nearly as insufferable. If you’ve seen the film, give the book a read.

Buy The Underwriting by Michelle Miller at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Underwriting by Michelle Miller at

Buy The Underwriting by Michelle Miller at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Underwriting by Michelle Miller at


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