“Norb Vonnegut is the seriously underappreciated author of three glittery thrillers about fiscal malfeasance. This may not sound like a red-hot franchise, but he has made it one. With “Top Producer” (2009), “The Gods of Greenwich” (2011) and now “The Trust,” he is three for three in his own improbably sexy genre.
Mr. Vonnegut dreams up diabolically elegant business crimes, then sends smart-talking characters to follow the money. He draws upon his own Wall Street experience (with Morgan Stanley, among other employers) to provide the sound of insider acumen. “I’ve had 14 managers over the last 10 years,” Grove O’Rourke says at the start of the new book. Grove was the stockbroker hero of “Top Producer,” and now he’s back for an encore.”
—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Mommas, don’t let your sons grow up to be Manhattan brokers or board members of charitable foundations. They’d never survive the combination of criminal plots and personal threats.
When Grove O’Rourke takes a call from Palmer Kincaid, his old mentor and his biggest client, he can tell that the old man is more than worried. But he doesn’t catch the next plane to Kincaid’s home in Charleston, S.C. As a result, he has to make the trip anyway for Palmer’s funeral after he’s killed in a convenient one-person boating accident. Smarting with guilt, Grove agrees to join Palmer’s daughter Claire, 33, and his second wife JoJo, 39, on the board of the Palmetto Foundation, which Palmer launched and headed. Another mistake. Katy Anders, Grove’s boss at Sachs, Kidder and Carnegie, is anything but supportive. And the very first item of business before the Foundation, a transfer of $65 million donated by the Catholic Fund to the Foundation for relief work in the Philippines, raises Grove’s hackles. He’s taken aback by dogged Fayetteville lawyer Biscuit Hughes’ revelation that the Catholic Fund owns Highly Intimate Pleasures, an adult novelty superstore, and he doesn’t trust Father Frederick Ricardo, the fast-talking Maryknoll priest who’s pressing for the transfer. Just to keep the pressure up, Grove learns that Morgan Stanley Dean Witter is poised to purchase his division at SKC and that Isabelle Torres of the FBI is dogging his every move and demanding he spill everything he knows about the Foundation. And that’s all before JoJo is kidnapped by someone demanding $200 million—virtually all the Foundation’s assets—for her safe return.
A fast and furious novel from Vonnegut (The Gods of Greenwich, 2011, etc.) and a guaranteed good time.”
The Trust is a fast fun, totally engrossing thriller that hooked me on page one and never let go. Vonnegut knows the financial world inside and out, and his expertise raised this excellent story to the highest level. The Trust is a winner from start to finish. I loved it.
– Christopher Reich
Norb Vonnegut is the Nelson DeMille of finance thrillers. Traveling with his characters and getting the inside skinny on the brokerage business is a must for all fiction lovers!
– Alexandra Lebenthal