Standing Into Danger

Desmond Briggs, Author Secker & Warburg $0 (217p) ISBN 978-0-436-06856-0
Set in the 1960s, Briggs's fourth book is a story of power struggles among the English upper-middle class. Briggs chronicles the fortunes of Toby Blackett and Martin Coley, as they struggle to survive in the high-finance insurance markets at Lloyd's of Londonan unlikely, though surprisingly interesting framework for a story. Toby, the lad with the silver spoon in his mouth, becomes managing director of a company run by the noveau-riche bounder Trevor Bleach. His lower-middle class friend, Martin, is an underwriter at Lloyd's, attempting to maintain the eroding honor and traditions he aspires to and Toby has forsaken. Enter Greek ship owner Vathos, whose company's survival ultimately depends on the demise of his new, highly insured super-tanker. All the well-drawn characters end up standing into danger, like the ship the Katherina Vathos, whose troubles at sea open the novel. Briggs's highly detailed and well-written narrative bears comparison to the no-holds-barred pursuit of money and power a la C. P. Snow. (August)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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