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Pay Off (Stephen Leather Thrillers) Paperback – May 1, 1997
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More About the Author
He is one of the country's most successful eBook authors and his eBooks have topped the Amazon Kindle charts in the UK and the US. In 2011 alone he sold more than 500,000 eBooks and was voted by The Bookseller magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the UK publishing world. Born in Manchester, he began writing full time in 1992.
His bestsellers have been translated into fifteen languages. He has also written for television shows such as London's Burning, The Knock and the BBC's Murder in Mind series and two of his books, The Stretch and The Bombmaker, were filmed for TV. You can find out more from his website www.stephenleather.com and you can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/stephenleather
Top Customer Reviews
As I sat down to write this review, I realized that the author didn't give a name to his novel's hero. I've flipped back through the pages to ensure that I didn't miss something; I apparently didn't, so let's call him "Mac" because he's a Scotsman.
Mac, a co-partner of Scottish Corporate Advisors, is a financier with a grudge. His father had managed an investment trust, Scottish Commercial Overseas Trust, until it was hijacked by Ronnie Laing and and Alan Kyle, the former a vicious drug dealer and the latter a specialist in hostile corporate acquisitions. During the SCOT takeover, Mac's mother died in an auto accident, perhaps arranged by Laing as a warning to her husband. In any case, the day after losing control of his company, Mac's despondent father blew his own brains out with a shotgun. Mac wants revenge, and plans an intricate sting that will frame Laing and Kyle for the theft of a large cocaine shipment from the IRA, an outfit you don't want to annoy. To that end, Mac enlists the help of a high-end courtesan, a car thief, an ex-SAS mercenary, and a driver who once worked for Laing. But the best laid plans oft go awry, and by the time Mac is dumping bodies into a Highland loch, events have spun out of control. Don't try this at home.
This is only my third Leather thriller, with five more on the shelf to read. So far, the protagonists have been nominally law-abiding citizens forced by circumstance to the far side of the law. PAY OFF, at 240 paperbacked pages, is relatively short. While perhaps offering lo-carb plot and character development, this thriller met expectations for concept and action.Read more ›
PO is beautifully written, but not particularly well crafted. Leather’s prose is brilliant and his allegories are witty. The most interesting aspects of the novel are his descriptions of investment banking (a subject one wouldn’t expect to be particularly interesting), financial frauds, characters and aspects of life in Scotland and London. If I could write prose half as well as he does, I could doubtlessly shed those detestable commas from my own Amazon sales rankings.
However, his plot is a bit lame, to put it bluntly. A well-heeled gentleman hatches a sophomoric revenge plot that entails throwing a lot of money at the problem in order to keep his own hands clean. He gets in over his head and things go balls-up. He decides that if you want something done right, you need to take personal responsibility and do it yourself. However, to do so, he draws upon resources and alliances uniquely available to him and with outside help that borders on deus ex machina, concludes his quest. Consequently, the moral of the story is very weak. The protagonist makes choices that are unavailable to Everyman, so the consequences have little significance to anybody else. The trials he confronts are too easily overcome, usually by simply throwing money at them. The losses he suffers are relatively minor, even though the body count is considerably higher than ordinarily encountered in finance. The romantic interest and angle is more than a little contrived.
The book is already older than many in its target audience.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed the book and it has a real twist in the tail.
Less predictable than many books - worth while reading.
Stephen Leather always delivers. I only wish he could write faster !!! My favourite author bar none, he holds your attention from page one till the last word .Published on October 26, 2013 by Joan Jackson