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Absolute Risk Paperback – October 26, 2010

3.5 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Graham Gage Series

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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 (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,057,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bill Swann on September 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 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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Format: Kindle Edition
Gage is the kind of "hero" that stays grounded in the real world complete with flaws. In this tale of greed and power lust that reflects much of the world it was important to have at least five characters make decisions that reflect the best we have to offer.
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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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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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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Before you even open this book, you better have your bottle of Suspension of Disbelief Pills (SDPs) ready. In the first chapter, the new Federal Reserve Chairman wants to find out why a discredited FBI agent was murdered in France. So, who ya gonna call? The FBI? CIA? U.S. Marshals? The French Sûreté, perhaps? Nope, you call in private investigator Graham Gage from San Francisco. OK, here's your first pill!

As the case unfolds, we find out the Chinese are up to their eyeballs in the developing problem. By remarkable coincidence, Gage's wife Faith is not only in China, but heavily involved with some of the major players. Time for the second pill!

Gage's wife took a team of students to China on an archeology dig, one of whom gets badly injured in an earthquake. Shortly afterwards the surrounding area dissolves into civil unrest and rioting. Does Faith do what any responsible chaperone would do, and get the kids out of the country to safety? Nope, for some incomprehensible reason she abandons them to their own devices to accompany her neighbour into the eye of the storm, while she tries to save her corrupt son and daughter-in-law from avenging mobs. Whoa, there goes the third pill -- better make it a double!

If the overdose of SDPs isn't enough to unsettle your stomach, a heapin' helpin' of economic mumbo-jumbo certainly will. Much space is devoted to explaining the theory behind the massive conspiracy. It may be plausible, or it may not, but I found myself fanning through pages of dissertation until something interesting starts to happen again. Interesting being a relative term here, as the overall pace is slow and ponderous. It doesn't help that the writing style is a bit clunky and invites your attention to wander to other things.
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