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Bull Street (A White Collar Crime Thriller) Paperback – January 17, 2012


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Product Description

Bull Street is the story of Richard Blum, a naïve, young Wall Streeter who gives a jaded billionaire the chance for redemption, as they team up to bring down an insider trading ring before they wind up in jail or dead.

A Q&A with David Lender

Question: In Bull Street it is often hard to know who the bad guys are from the good. Many characters appear to be using similar tactics to different ends. Was this always your intention? Can you tell us a little more about your characters?

David Lender: I intentionally wanted to create characters with internal conflicts, questionable ethics and suspect motives. It was part of creating a world where even the good guys use sharp-elbowed tactics, and allegiances can shift from deal to deal. As Jack Grass says at one point, “You need a high tolerance for ambiguity to work on Wall Street.” At its core, the novel is about integrity: keeping it and even redeeming oneself after losing it. Wall Street is a perfect backdrop for such a story, since the characters are entrusted with billions of dollars and are in powerful enough positions to take advantage of that situation. It makes it easy to cross the line.

Q: Considering your background and the subject matter of this book, what are your thoughts on the current financial situation in the US? What problems would you fix first and how?

DL: As a believer in free markets and our capitalist system, I’m naturally skeptical of regulation. On the other hand, I think one of the things that got us in trouble in the financial crisis was doing away with the Depression-era regulations that separated banks from investment banks. Once we allowed depositary institutions to combine with proprietary trading houses, traders were allowed to make risky bets with depositors’ money. I don’t know if it’s possible to put that genie back in the bottle, but we should. Another issue we need to address is leverage. Too much of it got us into trouble, and new capital rules for banks are partially addressing this. But at the government level it’s a problem, too, and getting worse, as witnessed by the federal budget fiasco and downgrade of US debt in 2011. We need to start living within our means.

Q: I have read that you worked for 25 years on Wall Street, what made you decide to start writing?

DL: I always wanted to be a novelist. I made up my mind to do it about 15 years ago when my investment banking career was in full swing. I just muscled it into my schedule, getting up at 5 a.m., writing for an hour and then going to my day job, like most aspiring writers. I outlined or edited scenes on planes, in cabs or in hotel rooms. I write because I love it, but also because I got to the point where I could no longer ignore the compulsion to do so.

Q: You must draw a lot of inspiration from your time on Wall Street. Where else do you find inspiration?

DL: Sometimes it’s someone in my life. Dani North, the protagonist of Vaccine Nation, was inspired by my fiancé, Manette, and her work as a documentary filmmaker. Elmore Leonard is one of my favorite authors, and reading his stuff frequently gives me ideas. Sometimes it’s just throwing ideas around with friends.

Q: What kind of books do you read, and what authors have influenced you?

DL: Thrillers. What else? Thriller writers who have influenced me are Elmore Leonard, Graham Greene, Frederick Forsyth, John LeCarre, John Grisham (although I don’t think he’s ever gotten close to The Firm again), Robert Ludlum, Ken Follett, and Thomas Harris.

Q: What books do you read over and over again?

DL: I think F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is the great American novel. I read it every year or so. Elmore Leonard is the contemporary author I most admire. Out of Sight is his best, with Get Shorty a close second. Nobody does dialog or backstory like him. I’ll also never stop returning to Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Forsythe’s The Day of the Jackal (it may be the best thriller ever written), Le Carre’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley’s People, and Graham Green’s Our Man in Havana.

Review

"The Grisham of Wall Street." - Bloomberg TV
"Wall Street bona fides and a flair for zippy narrative." - The New York Times
"Lender['s] . . . stories rank him alongside the very best names in thrillers - names like Thomas Harris, Robert Ludlum, Dennis Lehane, John le Carre and Lee Child." - Tracy Riva Books & Reviews 
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Product Details

  • Series: A White Collar Crime Thriller
  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (January 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612182267
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612182261
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Lender is a former investment banker whose bestselling thrillers are inspired by his twenty-five years on Wall Street. After earning his MBA at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, he went on to work in mergers and acquisitions for Merrill Lynch, Rothschild, and Bank of America. David is the author of six novels and six short stories and novellas, including the financial and corporate thrillers that made him an e-book sensation. He writes standalone thrillers as well as two series: Sasha Del Mira Thrillers and White Collar Crime Thrillers. He lives in northern New Jersey with his family and a pitbull named Styles.

More background on David and his writing can be found at www.davidlender.net

Please join David's mailing list at http://tinyurl.com/kz9soy8

Customer Reviews

Fun read, very well developed characters and plot line.
SCS
I was disappointed in the abruptness; it was almost like the author got tired of writing the story so he truncated it.
michael sholders
David Lender does a great job in this story about Wall Street.
Phil Eggleton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Rohit Kapur on May 29, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Bull Street is another winner from Lender, an even more accurate picture of Wall Street than his last, and this one a story told against the backdrop of the Financial Crisis. It is a tense, suspenseful story of insider trading that builds from the first chapter. It has all the elements: the young banker gradually realizing he's stuck in a web of deceit, the conniving of his dishonest bosses, the chase of the Director of Enforcement of the SEC, and a romance with another young banker who helps our hero in his race to unwind the layers of dishonesty before the SEC can run him down, or the bosses can do him in. It has pace, thrills and great characters. It doesn't get much better than this.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Cruiseman on May 28, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the third book I have read by Lender, and it is his best yet. He is in
his element with stories of Wall Street. The Gravy Train painted that world in
colorful and realistic tones. Bull Street goes yet a step further in delving
deep into this world of shady characters, ambiguous loyalties and
double-crosses. This is a story of a young man tempted by the greed he
encounters, and then of his subsequent struggle to clear his name after he's
been tainted by an insider trading ring at his investment banking firm The
trading ring includes the most powerful client at the firm, a man who is the
premier takeover artist of his era. The setup is reminiscent of Grisham's The
Firm, however, the plot involves twists that take it in another direction.

The story features raw emotion that you feel at every step. It also has great
characters and a plot that builds like a symphonic piece. This is a powerful
book by a writer who has come into his own with a memorable story told with
force.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Bichon Mom TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 7, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading and enjoying David Lender's first two books, I was happy to see this one finally out and on the hot new releases list. I must say that he has continued his winning streak with this novel.

In Bull Street,as in Gravy Train, Lender's theme includes an intelligent and ambitious young man given a dream job on Wall Street who finds himself in a world of unanticipated greed and worse. While it may stretch the bounds of credibility somewhat to have someone that young and inexperienced included in top level meetings, etc., it certainly is an effective way of explaining financial concepts.

This is a financial thriller and a page turner. The descriptions are as detailed as one would expect from an author that actually worked in that environment for many years. Lender's authenticity and knowledge of his subjects make Bull Street a pleasure to read.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By JC on August 17, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was very entertaining, and kept me wanting to read more. I highly recommend it! Can't wait for the next book from David Lender.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By C. Chumita on January 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bull Street is an exciting book that kept getting better. My only complaint is that there were a few typos throughout the book. Check it out!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Taylor on August 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Very good book - really enjoyed it. I would recommend this book to readers wanting a good, suspensful story. David Lender is a great story teller - I look forward to his next book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By JudyD on April 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I truly enjoy a good CD when commuting to work and when an invitation came in from Amazon for a special offer for a few different stories, this one struck a cord, especially considering what has transpired in recent years.

I found this to be well read by Nick Podehl. Characters are well developed and sometimes they could be compared to the types of previous business associates you may have interacted with yourself. The story was interesting and, considering David Lender has worked in the business, I found it interesting and entertaining. The story kept me interested, wanting to see how things were finally resolved, and it lived up to my expectations.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By P. Rednel on June 2, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a tense and suspenseful book with fascinating detail on the financial
sphere. At one point a character thinks, "No wonder the global financial system
almost melted down with these guys in charge." True, and if you read this you'll get
some perspective on the personalities that almost drove us all over the edge. Never
mind the global implications, this is a great thriller that has characters and a
plot that will stick you to your seat. If you get more out of it than that, great,
but as a thriller it's a winner.
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