Myth by David Mallach
I gave this 3 stars.
Summary (taken from NetGalley):
Johnny Long is back and better than ever as he takes on the most challenging crisis to hit the financial-services industry in decades. In Myth, we have a harrowing tale involving a retired couple in dire distress. Their income has been decimated, the result of depending on fixed income over years of declining interest rates. Their options are few and their future bleak. How will they survive? They turn to Lucien Marat for help. Armed with a passion to help others, Lucien Marat takes on Wall Street in a trial that he hopes can save millions of retirees from certain ruin. What unfolds is a shocking account about “business as usual” on Wall Street, as well as a probing look at consumer accountability. Along the way, we learn that there is a cause for hope, that there is another way!
I chose this book because of its by-line ‘A Wall Street Novel’. I imagined it to be something akin to the Wall Street movies, highlighting the corruption and arrogance of the financial world. After reading only about 15% (I read on a Kindle, so don’t go by page numbers any more) I was really unsure as to whether I wanted to go on. Until then it all seemed a little more like a text-book than a work of fiction. It had some mixed reviews on Goodreads, ranging from one to five-star ratings. Not one to give up on what might turn out to be a gem of a story, I persevered.
The pace picked up substantially, the courtroom battles were electrifying. I could feel myself being drawn into the story and wanting – no needing – to see how it finished. Even the detailed descriptions of financial products and strategies were well explained. (Certainly very informative and I’ll admit that I learned a thing or two about investment planning too)
Some of the descriptions of the characters were lost on me (not being from the US) but nonetheless the principal characters were larger than life. At times they were a touch exaggerated, maybe even stereotypical on occasions. I read the rest of the book over a weekend, but the ending fell a little flat. All of that drama beforehand seemed to fizzle out. When the outcome of the case was delivered, what followed tended to be somewhat ‘preachy’ and once again it felt like a review of the lessons learned earlier.
I’m glad I finished the book because there were some great scenes, wonderful dialogue and plenty of tension and drama. The story is great in the middle, but the beginning and ending did not match up. All in all it was an interesting and educational read. If the world of finance is your thing, then it’s worth reading – but don’t expect a movie spectacular.