About the Author The Western Banker Précis Meet Alex Johnson and Sean Lynch

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About the Author The Western Banker Précis Meet Alex Johnson and Sean Lynch Powered By Docstoc
					The Western Banker- Précis.

Meet Alex Johnson and Sean Lynch. Two thirty year old financial brokers working
out of the most prestigious Finance House in the City of London. Two guys at the top
of their game, awash with cash, cars and girls. No deal is too murky for them to fund,
until …
Alex is asked by an old contact, an Israeli arms dealer, Jacob Leister, to put up some
shop window financing for a deal of last generation arms. Nothing new there. The
catch? The sellers are three MKs, members of the Israeli government, looking it
seems to make a few dollars while the going is good. No problem for Alex, a man
who has long since lost any sense of ethics at work and agrees to be the middle man,
while the arms are sold on, so he initially thinks, to some undesirables in the Balkans.
On his way back to England he is accosted by a stranger, Madsen, a Mossad agent as
it turns out with a huge axe to grind at Jacob’s Leister’s expense. For years the arms
dealer has been using sensitive information to coerce Madsen to feed him intelligence
useful to him in his business. Madsen has found out that there is more to the arms deal
than meets the eye. First, one of those MKs, Naomi Boulden, knows full well that the
arms are going to be laid at the door of Abdullah Basharani, the notorious Moslem
terrorist. Second, the arms package has an added extra. A BTNW, a Battlefield
Tactical Nuclear Weapon, capable of destroying a square mile of property. Naomi’s
cracked idea? To allow a nuclear outrage on Israel’s soil, thus freeing her government
to do what they have to do, make a full nuclear strike at the aggressors on their
doorstep. By accelerating the tension she will, in her warped mind, bring a swift and
final result to the Middle East stand off.
And who is paying for all this? The World Bank has arranged a huge loan to
redevelop Palestine, and three of its directors (who also sit as directors at Alex’s and
Sean’s bank) are instrumental in arranging it, and of course have made arrangements
of their own to receive a very large kick back. It’s very much in their interests
therefore that nothing should happen to jeopardise it going through … A fourth
World Bank director, Mikel Bronstein, is in on the arms conspiracy with Jacob
Leister, and makes arrangements for a further tranche of the loan to be siphoned off to
fund the arms deal itself.
We see first Alex’s world collapse, his journey from self-contained man of his age, to
doing the right thing at his own expense, maybe at the cost of his own life. And so we
follow his efforts to expose the nuclear conspiracy while trying not to disclose that it
was he who blew the whistle, a move which would end in his death. Not only does he
have to walk a tight rope with the characters in Israel, but also with his own bosses,
the bank directors. Are they in on the arms conspiracy as well? He has no idea who
can be trusted.
As to his colleague, Sean Lynch, he acts as Alex’s sounding board, and as the story
gathers momentum finds himself deeper and deeper embroiled in the plot, also
resulting in him having to come face to face with the man he has turned into after
years of fast living. He too is faced with the choice of whether he can break out of his
selfish world and assist in averting what might be a nuclear meltdown.
The story takes place in London, Israel and Washington, and also takes in a hoary war
correspondent, the one NSA agent that he has come to trust over the years, a corrupt
M16 agent, a westernised Moslem working in the UN Redevelopment Agency (the
link man with the terrorist), the machinations of government in the USA and Israel,
and a doomed love interest with our Mossad agent. There is a spectacular twist in the
tail in which brings justice to every one of the cast.
Though many threads to the plot the characters contain depth unusual in a story
within this genre, and the writer’s knowledge of the subject allows the reader an
insight into the greedy world of high finance and international institutions. The story
is as much driven by the characters as the narrative itself and the balance is kept in
creating certain characters who are grubby enough to be distasteful yet still leaving
the reader hopeful for their success. The book cover quote on the Australian release,
by the long standing literary editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, provides a succinct
summary: ‘A thrilling debut set in the shadowy world of international arms dealing.’


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posted:4/28/2010
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