A Calculated Risk by Katherine Neville

A Calculated Risk by Katherine Neville: This is my third Neville book (of three, as far as I can tell) and I think it’s probably my second favorite (with The Eight being the clear winner). All of these books have followed strong, intelligent women dealing with high-risk situations. There is also another plot, which takes place hundreds of years earlier, that somehow relates to the modern storyline. In this case, we have Verity Banks, a vice president of Bank of the World (Neville worked for Bank of America; perhaps there is a parallel here?), continually fighting with her chauvenistic management who dismiss her suggestions unless they can somehow claim them as their own. Fed up, she decides to demonstrate how faulty their computer security is by temporarily stealing money herself. Enter Zolan Tor, Banks’s brilliant former mentor, who decides that he wants to play too, and can do it better. So they make a bet. The historical side story is about the Rothschild family some 200 years ago, who apparently have a lot to do with why banking is the way it is. I couldn’t quiet follow it, and I don’t think it added anything to the story. The modern thread, on the other hand, was a real page-turner. I just couldn’t put it down. Banks and Tor had a wonderful chemistry, and the other characters were a blast. My favorite was Lelia, the French Russian dame who spoke no language well and thus several broken languages at once. I would certainly recommend this one if you’re looking for a fun thriller, but if you only read one Neville book, I’d still have to steer you towards The Eight.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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