Failure at the Mission Trust

Bruce Ducker, Author Freundlich Books $0 (275p) ISBN 978-0-88191-046-9
The hero of this likable second novel by the author of Rule by Proxy is Howard Adler, a 38-year-old bank loan officer in a Midwestern town, whose main goal in life is not to upset the status quo. His superiors at the Mission Trust order him to oversee a land-development deal with Marty Laughlin, a highly touted Wall Street speculator. It shortly transpires that the proposed development scheme, involving an island that's mostly underwater, is a fraud. The higher-ups at the bank nevertheless allow the con man to lead them down the garden path and invest $10 million in the project, despite Howard's warnings. This doesn't stop them from fixing the blame on Howard when their folly is finally too clear. This is not so much a novel about the ins and outs of high finance as it is a winning comedy of errors. In a cast of flamboyant characters, Howard stands out as a shrewd, decent Everyman. ""I like to be committed to things in my life,'' Howard says. ``It doesn't mean you have to like them.'' (January)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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