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Absolute Risk Paperback – October 26, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In his second thriller (after Final Target, 2010), Gore takes on global issues in a convoluted plot involving world financial markets and their impact on geopolitics. When plainspoken Fed chairman Milton Abrams enlists high-powered San Francisco PI Graham Gage to look into the suspicious death of an ex-FBI agent, Gage finds himself on the trail of former MIT mathematician Hani Ibraham, whose quantum theory of finance helped spawn the multitrillion-dollar Relative Growth hedge fund. His quest for Ibraham, who was deported years earlier on a bogus charge, takes him to Marseilles, but Gage remains in touch with his anthropologist wife, Faith, who is in China when an earthquake hits, prompting a revolt against officials who allowed the erection of substandard buildings. Gage, with impressive resources and talent at his fingertips, finds that all these threads connect and have vast implications. Gore stuffs a lot into his plot, including a presidential health crisis, but he manages it well, with a winning protagonist and a plausible premise that may leave readers worrying about—among other things—U.S. treasury bonds owned by China. --Michele Leber --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“Masterful.... Sharp, smart writing and convincing economic detail put this in the front rank of genre fiction.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“A brisk pace and an intriguing plot make the pages turn themselves.” (Richard North Patterson, bestselling author of Silent Witness)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st edition (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061782203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061782206
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,204,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steven Gore is a renowned private investigator turned "masterful" writer (Publishers Weekly) who combines "a command of storytelling" with "insider knowledge." (Library Journal). With a unique voice honed both on the street and in the Harlan Donnally and Graham Gage novels, Gore's stories are grounded in his decades spent investigating murder, fraud, organized crime, corruption, and drug, sex, and arms trafficking throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit his website at www.stevengore.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
FBI Agent Michael Hennessey enhanced his career by participating in the arrest of financial mathematician Hani Ibrahim for funneling money to foreign terrorist groups. After leaving the FBI, Hennessey pursued his suspicions that Ibrahim was framed. As the novel begins, Hennessey has arranged a meeting with Fed chair Milton Abrams to discuss Ibrahim but Hennessey apparently commits suicide just before the meeting is to occur. Ronald Minsky, CEO of Relative Growth Funds, is supposedly using Ibrahim's theories about fractal analysis to operate the world's most successful hedge fund. Abrams believes Minsky is making money illegally, a fact Hennessey may have stumbled onto. Abrams wants Graham Gage to uncover the truth. Gage's search leads him to a scheme that could cripple the world's economy.

In a related subplot, Gage's wife Faith finds herself in the midst of a worker's rebellion in China following an earthquake. Workers are unhappy about unsafe buildings that were constructed with the help of foreign corporate bribes. Yet another subplot involves the vice president, who has been suckered into endorsing a National Pledge Day that expressly excludes all Americans who do not adhere to the Christian faith.

I liked Absolute Risk more than the previous Gage novel, Final Target. The insufferable smugness that characterized Gage in the first novel is gone and the plot is more straight-forward. On the other hand, I didn't think Absolute Risk maintained quite the degree of suspense that makes a thriller memorable.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on November 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
Fed Reserve Chair Milton Abrams asks San Francisco private investigator Graham Gage to investigate the death of a former FBI agent Michael Hennessy in France just before they were to meet even though it appears to be a suicide. His inquiry leads Gage to deported MIT Economics Professor Hani Ibrahim, who was kicked out of the country after Hennessey proved he was leading a money laundering scheme to fund foreign terrorists.

In rural China, an earthquake causes mass destruction and leads to anger and rioting from fuming workers upset with the government response. Their insurgency places the mission of Gage's wife Faith to rescue two Chinese friends from government forces in peril. Gage finds evidence that Ibrahim, using a too big to fail hedge fund, is plotting a terrorist assault on the fragile world economy. However, his work endangers his spouse from Ibrahim's subordinates. Meanwhile, evangelical President Cooper Wallace believes the global economic recession is part of God's master plan so he has doubts if he should intervene in alleviating the crisis.

The second gage tale (see Final Target) is a fabulous somewhat over the top financial thriller. Fast-paced, Steven Gore provides the reader with incredible insight into the too big to fail funding yet with plenty of macroeconomics, the action never slows down. Readers will want to join Gage as he hops from California to Marseille to China following the money trail.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lynellen Perry VINE VOICE on February 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There is far too much dialogue and monologue in "Absolute Risk"... the author has large discourses of material on economic theories and no way to present them to the author but by discussing. These are actually some of the more interesting parts of the book, which is kinda sad for a thriller. The author also has a serious chip on his shoulder about a particular religion. While I love thrillers, and I love learning things, this book just had characters that I was unable to connect with. I couldn't even keep them straight. I forced myself to read about 3/4 of the book so far, and I'll probably finish it but I really do not recommend it.
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I can usually find something positive to say about any book, in this case the positive is the book wasn't a single page longer than it was. The Graham character was okay but seemed inconsistent, intermingling Chinese storylines were difficult to follow and eventually care about. I thought this was an action/adventure/thriller type book, it isn't any of those. We're I to label this book, I'd suggest it was a present day historical fiction that wasn't at all interesting.

Tis book is so bad I will not be trying any other books by this author.
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This second novel in his rapidly growing, entrancing, and fast moving series cuts traditional economic theory to shreds!

As a retired academic economist, I enjoyed thoroughly the debunking of traditional economic theory, while suspending some disbelief at the final solutions to the dilemmas that Gore poses in the book. It will be great fun for anyone who doubts the self-serving pronouncements of neoconservative economists whose theories have virtually no basis in evidence!
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Investigator Graham Gage is asked by Fed Chairman Milton Abrams to look into the murder of a former FBI agent. The ensuing novel involves world finance, Arab terrorists, Chinese corruption (as told by a sub-plot with Gage's wife stuck in a rebellious area of China devastated by an earthquake. While I did find it hard to follow the various sub-plots, and even harder - to make any connection to them; I still found the story enjoyable and recommend the book to Gore fans.
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