The Insider

by Stephen Frey

Ballantine, December, 2000.
Paperback, 356 pages.
ISBN: 0345428285

The Insider by Stephen Frey Jay West is offered an attractive, high-salaried position at McCarthy and Lloyd, a Wall Street investment firm that seems too good to be true. He is even offered a million dollar, no strings attached bonus, for less than a year's work. But immediately after accepting the position, West starts having misgivings. He wonders whether it was a good idea to have rushed into signing the contract without first showing it to an attorney. After working at the company for a couple months and not having much luck bringing in big money, Jay's boss Oliver invites Jay out to his exclusive club for dinner. Oliver asks Jay to place a couple of large, unusual trades, but doesn't offer any research to back up his picks. West doesn't know whether he should place the trades. He doesn't want to upset his boss and possibly lose the million dollar bonus, but he is concerned something worse could happen if he does. To his everlasting regret, Jay makes the trades, and the consquences are dire indeed.

Stephen Frey is known for his exciting financial thrillers. Frey, who is a former vice president of corporate finance at a major Manhattan bank and worked in mergers and acquisitions at J.P. Morgan, knows his financial lingo and law. The Insider, also a financial thriller, begins in a similar manner to John Grisham's The Firm, in which the main character thinks he has landed a great job with great pay, but circumstances turn out to be much different than he expected them to be. Frey's character John West finds himself in a similar situation: great job, unbelievable pay -- but like Grisham's Mitch McDeere, he has been mislead. The excitement -- and Frey provides a great deal of it-- is watching to see if West is clever enough to figure out his situation and then extricate himself from it -- without ending up in jail or dead. This is great reading for thriller fans and financial buffs.

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This review was published in the February, 2001 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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