I am delighted to share my review today for A Most Private Bank by Andreas Clenow. This is a thrilling read that mixes the world of finance, banking, organised crime and so, so much more.
My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my fabulous PB copy of this book from the publisher – Equilateral Publishing
I love the cover of this book, it’s a bit noirish, classic crime, gang-related, and just looks fabulous for the story inside.
“In this world, you either become a shark, or you become lunch.”
– Jim Dixon
A decade after Jim Dixon’s fall from grace, after the events that burnt his career on Wall Street, his past is catching up to him. Zurich had been the perfect place for a fresh start, a place where he could be a big fish in a small pond. The secretive world of Swiss high finance, a world of deception, greed, and excess, where everyone lies for one or another reason, provided the perfect cover. Until she showed up.
Meeting the socialite daughter of his former client was just a courtesy, nothing more. Another spoiled princess looking for VIP tickets to the opera, or a private shopping session at Louis Vuitton. So he thought. But Christina Rosenbaum was not the typical second-generation heiress. This was the meeting that would set it all in motion.
Caught between unscrupulous bankers, hedge fund managers, organized crime, state actors, and law enforcement, Jim is left with no choice. One way or another, it will be over before the end of the week. This week would see careers destroyed, lives lost, and fortunes made.
This is quite a tense and intensive foray into the world of Swiss banking and how the system works. I am not familiar with the world of multi-million/billion-pound world of investments, corporations, banking and the like. So when I pick up a financial thriller I am always a little dubious as to how much jargon there will be, and of course, if it disrupts the flow of the story. I am glad to say that this was not the case for this book, enough jargon but not too much to be overbearing.
Jim Dixon is approached by a wealthy heiress, Christine Rosenbaum who wants to buy a bank. Before reading this book I had never considered that banks are something that could be purchased as such. Takeovers I am aware of, but not the buying or selling of a bank! The story is one that follows some very interesting routes through the finance of Swiss banks and some of the rules and laws that must be followed. While these are important to a novel like this the author doesn’t linger too much on them.
What the author does concentrate on is the thriller aspect of the story, it is a nicely twisted one and it kept me on my toes. Like many people, I do have suspicions when it comes to fictional books about bankers, wealthy businessmen and very wealthy individuals. It makes for interesting reading when there is suspicion and doubt in a novel and there is plenty of that in this book.
This book also brings in more. criminal gangs, police and some very dodgy characters indeed. These are all brilliantly worked into the novel and while some are dangerous not all of them are unlikeable. Even in the ruthless world of money, there are still apparently some things that still mean something and so there is still some trust and respect.
The one thing that makes this stand out is the way the author details the cars, the outfits and the watches. It is not something I expected, but the way this is done is really very good, while a certain car may look good and appear to be the car of a star, it isn’t all that. The same goes for the clothing and especially the watches. This made the more important characters stand out rather than just being one of the wealthy. There is a certain mindset that the author uses, that there is the American way and then there is the Swiss way, again not something I was aware of but certainly makes some interesting reading.
I really enjoyed this book, it is a tense and intense thriller, but one that has a great flow and pace to it. Many unexpected turns and nothing is as it first appears. This is a book that I would definitely recommend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ANDREAS F. CLENOW Andreas Clenow is a Swedish Swiss author, asset manager and
an entrepreneur based in Zurich, where he oversees investment strategies of a nine-figure
After running his own IT firm in Sweden, he founded his first hedge fund in 2006 in
quantitative finance and moved to Zurich. Since he has been part of a number of hedge
funds and ventures, he is serving on the board of directors of multiple companies.
Over the years, Andreas has authored three international best-sellers on finance, each
hitting the number one slot on their respective Amazon top lists, and he is translated into
A Most Private Bank is published by Equilateral Publishing and is available in paperback
(£11.25) and ebook (£4.50) at all good bookshops and online retailers. Find out more at
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