Monday, April 29, 2013

Dead Cat Bounce by Nic Bennett

On "take your child to work day" 12 year old Jonah travels with his distant father to his brokerage firm.  Jonah is awed by the bigger than life presence of The Baron, who has created his own universe in the office where he works with his team on risky, but hugely profitable, trades.  Warned by his father to stay away from the Baron, Jonah nonetheless keeps in touch with him under his mentorship.  When Jonah turns 16 he has already earned $400,000 and goes to work in the Baron's office.  During his first week there the Baron's team earns several hundred million dollars from one deal.  But when there is a problem with the deal Jonah's dad is accused of doing something wrong and he goes on the run from a shadow agency that seems to control the finances of the entire world.  The first one hundred pages of this book take place when Jonah is 12 so it was jarring to me to find that the real meat begins when he is 16 after such a very long backstory.  If dialogue such as "Gold, platinum, silver, all rising!" "River Deep diving!" "Mountain High roaring!", "20k Anglo gone!",  "10 mill rouble/dollar gone!", "Buy thirty Banqe de Triomphe!", and "Shares driven down by heavy shorting" is your cup of tea then this is the book for you.  As for me, I thought it would never end and I snorted out loud when it ended on a cliff-hanger and I realized that there is more yet to come.  This first book has yet to leave my shelves so I don't think teens are all that interested in the impact of speculative trading on the global economy.