Trading Down by Stephen Norman
|Trading Down by Stephen Norman|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: You might be relieved to think that terrorists have moved away from physical violence. Think again.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 442||Date: November 2017|
|Publisher: Endeavour Press|
Chris Peters was happy in his work for a multinational bank in Hong Kong and excited when he was promoted and sent back to London. The job had it all: a hectic trading floor, targets which were impossible and some of the fastest computers in the world under his supervision. He's happy at home too: he and Olivia met in Hong Kong: now they're married and thinking about starting a family. But ... has he been promoted beyond his capabilities? There are those in the bank who think so, particularly when things start to go badly wrong. He was never there for Olivia either. Life for Chris Peters was turning sour.
Was it that he wasn't up to the job, though? Was it just the sort of accidents which happen to anyone, to any organisation? Or was there something more sinister happening? His bosses think that Chris is blowing this up out of all proportion, that he's trying to play Sherlock Holmes, but the near meltdown of of US datacentre (saved by hairdryers - no, I'm not going to explain - read the book) proves to him that the bank is under attack. And gradually he comes to realise that the threat is very close to home, that it must be someone within the bank. Then there's the tragic story of what's been happening in Yemen and it's one which reaches back for years.
I thought I wasn't going to like this book and some fairly explicit (and to my mind, unnecessary) sex just over thirty pages in made me wonder if it was going to be one of those books. You know, heavy on sex because it's light on plot. But the curse (and sometimes the blessing) of being a book reviewer is that once you start a book, you have to finish it and I'm glad that I did, because it ranks highly as a thriller. Once we get onto the trading floors and how the bank actually works then the plot gets hold of you and doesn't let go until you get to the last page. I gave up television and read through meals just to find out what was going to happen next - and then to find out who was behind it all. I did actually work out who the baddie was, but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book, particularly as it wasn't just a case of finding the name, but stopping them. The plot is good and very well constructed.
You warm to Chris Peters: a decent man in an industry which doesn't breed too many of them. I was willing him to succeed. All the men came off the page well, but I was less convinced by the women - Olivia, in particular, felt a little two dimensional, but I'm being very picky there. It was a good read and I'd be interested to see where Stephen Norman goes next. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals then you might also enjoy On The Floor by Aifric Campbell.
You can read more book reviews or buy Trading Down by Stephen Norman at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Trading Down by Stephen Norman at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.