The Velocity of Money: A Novel of Wall Street

Stephen Rhodes, Author William Morrow & Company $24 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-15538-4
Even in a lackluster thriller like this, it's refreshing to see good old-fashioned greed as the motive behind a computerized trading scam designed to bring Wall Street to its knees. And by rights it should be exciting to watch Rick Hansen, in-house counsel for the securities firm of Wolcott, Fulbright & Co., as he races against a group called the Contrarians, who plan to crash the Street using a program called LINDA. Hansen, who discovers the plot after investigating the apparent suicide of his predecessor at the firm, Tom Bingham, enlists the aid of LINDA's creator. Unfortunately, this potentially exciting mix of high-tech crime and financial hi-jinks is undermined by thin characters and wordy prose. All we know about Hansen is that his wife is pregnant; all we know about Gil ""Magilla"" McGeary, head of the freewheeling derivatives group, is that he might be the Contrarians'' inside man in Wolcott Fulbright. And as for writing style, the pseudonymous Rhodes (""an attorney working in the financial industry"") rarely uses fewer than 10 words where three will do. There's a great novel yet to be written about the risks involved when kids fresh out of college are given control over billions of dollars worth of securities, a gripping thriller about speculation, derivatives and financial chaos. But this isn't it. (Oct.) FYI: Morrow will issue this book on October 19, the 10th anniversary of the stock market crash known as ""Black Monday.""
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 512 pages - 978-0-380-73284-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-57511-035-6
Paperback - 978-0-330-36952-7
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