Norb Vonnegut lends his unique insider’s perspective and his darkly humorous writing to a fast-talking suspense thriller that takes readers inside the high-rolling world of global finance.
One sultry morning in Charleston, South Carolina, real estate magnate Palmer Kincaid’s body washes ashore, the apparent victim of accidental drowning. Palmer’s daughter calls Grove O’Rourke, stockbroker and hero of Top Producer, for help getting her family’s affairs in order. Palmer was Grove’s mentor and client, the guy who opened doors to a world beyond Charleston. Grove steps in as the interim head of the Palmetto Foundation, an organization Palmer created to encourage philanthropy.
About Norb Vonnegut
NORB VONNEGUT writes thrillers and non-fiction about Wall Street behind closed doors. He has appeared on Dylan Ratigan, Bloomberg News as well as the Laura Ingraham and Judith Regan shows. Top Producer, his debut novel, was a featured pick of Today and SmartMoney and is published in eight languages. The New York Times selected his second book, The Gods of Greenwich as a 2011 summer read.
Norb built his wealth-management career with Morgan Stanley and other Wall Street institutions. A Harvard graduate, he splits his time between New York and Rhode Island and is a trustee with the American Foundation for the Blind.
When Grove O’Rourke takes a call from Palmer Kincaid, his old mentor and his biggest client, he can tell that the old man is more than worried. But he doesn’t catch the next plane to Kincaid’s home in Charleston, S.C. As a result, he has to make the trip anyway for Palmer’s funeral after he’s killed in a convenient one-person boating accident. Smarting with guilt, Grove agrees to join Palmer’s daughter Claire, 33, and his second wife JoJo, 39, on the board of the Palmetto Foundation, which Palmer launched and headed. Another mistake. Katy Anders, Grove’s boss at Sachs, Kidder and Carnegie, is anything but supportive. And the very first item of business before the Foundation, a transfer of $65 million donated by the Catholic Fund to the Foundation for relief work in the Philippines, raises Grove’s hackles. He’s taken aback by dogged Fayetteville lawyer Biscuit Hughes’ revelation that the Catholic Fund owns Highly Intimate Pleasures, an adult novelty superstore, and he doesn’t trust Father Frederick Ricardo, the fast-talking Maryknoll priest who’s pressing for the transfer. Just to keep the pressure up, Grove learns that Morgan Stanley Dean Witter is poised to purchase his division at SKC and that Isabelle Torres of the FBI is dogging his every move and demanding he spill everything he knows about the Foundation. And that’s all before JoJo is kidnapped by someone demanding $200 million—virtually all the Foundation’s assets—for her safe return. – Kirkus Reviews
Stocks and Shell Games Down South
The New York Times Book Review – July 15, 2012 (Excerpt)
Norb Vonnegut is the seriously underappreciated author of three glittery thrillers about fiscal malfeasance. This may not sound like a red-hot franchise, but he has made it one. With “Top Producer” (2009), “The Gods of Greenwich” (2011) and now “The Trust,” he is three for three in his own improbably sexy genre.
Mr. Vonnegut dreams up diabolically elegant business crimes, then sends smart-talking characters to follow the money. He draws upon his own Wall Street experience (with Morgan Stanley, among other employers) to provide the sound of insider acumen. “I’ve had 14 managers over the last 10 years,” Grove O’Rourke says at the start of the new book. Grove was the stockbroker hero of “Top Producer,” and now he’s back for an encore.
“I’d call them an endangered species,” he says about his string of callous, browbeating bosses, “except the supply is endless.”
Grove is first seen in “The Trust” crouching under his desk at a Wall Street firm called SKC, to have a private phone conversation. So he’s glad to escape these confines when this book throws temptation his way. After a sailing “accident” kills Palmer Kincaid, Grove’s client and mentor, Grove is invited to become a trustee of Kincaid’s Palmetto Foundation. This philanthropic organization is based in Charleston, S.C., one of the very picturesque destinations that “The Trust” finds time to visit. Sullivan’s Island and the Turks and Caicos Islands are others.
A lot will happen to Grove during his Palmetto adventure. He will eventually come back to SKC bruised and bloodied. When he does, his colleagues are typically solicitous. “Nice face, Grove,” one says. Another asks, “Did Goldman” — as in Goldman Sachs — do that?” [Read the full article...]
THE BLEEDING HILLS A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith. - 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland. [More...]
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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