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The Day Trader Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st Mass Market Ed edition (January 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034544325X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345443250
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,325,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

For Augustus McKnight, there's good news and bad news: he's just made a killing, but his wife wants a divorce. Then she's murdered, and McKnight gets her juicy life insurance policy and a whole lot of trouble.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

On the basis of previous novels such as The Vulture Fund (1996) and The Inner Sanctum (1997), Frey could be called the Grisham of financial thrillers. Here, he tarnishes that reputation a bit by offering an interesting but implausible story of the mixed-up world of a novice day trader. Augustus McKnight, married to his high-school sweetheart, has noticed that the spark has faded from their relationship. He figures it is due to their financial problems; he is a salesman, and she is a legal secretary. Augustus is obsessed with the financial market, managing a ghost portfolio that triples in value in a short time, and with the encouragement of his laid-back, playboy friend, Vincent, Augustus considers changing occupations. That decision is hastened by the murder of his wife. In his grief, and with a million-dollar life insurance policy in his future, Augustus takes the plunge and signs on with a day-trading group. The husband is always a suspect, of course, so adding to the stress of his newfound livelihood is the constant appearance of homicide detective Dorsey. As Augustus is investigated, he ventures on his own search, finding disturbing connections among his wife, her boss, his motley crew of coworkers, a certain gentleman's club, and his supposed best friend, Vincent. Frey attempts to paint Augustus as a tragic hero, his fatal flaw being his naivete, but it's hard to buy. He is intelligent, strong, insightful, but incredibly blind to his surroundings. Nonetheless, expect demand for this page-turner. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

I felt that the characters were much too stereotypical and extreme.
"tridocdc"
His character development is excellent for the main character but not as thorough on subordinate characters.
Mr D.
I found this book to be a bit of a bore to read (probably because I didn't care what happened).
Jamie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Day Trading may someday define the late 1990's. The boom, the bust, the empowerment of the individual. Unfortunately, Frey squanders his opportunity to help us make sense of it. If the title, THE DAY TRADER, attracts you (like it did me), do not be misled. The scope of the book is very small-minded. I was hoping to better understand the fullness of this huge phenomenon (through the power of fiction). So I expected good fictional characterizations and a more even-handed plot than Frey provided. His characters never really convince you and there's a plot that seems just too darn cooked up. I wanted a good fictionalized view of this phenomenon and I sure didn't find it here.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Day Trading was certainly one the most dynamic infatuations of possibly America's greatest decade. So when Frey chose to call his latest, The Day Trader, I was hoping he might capture the deeper meanings of such an interesting phenomenon. Unfortunately, I think Frey squandered a terrific opportunity. Instead of characterizing this naturally dramatic period fairly, he opted for plot devices and broad character portrayals. After it's over, you don't feel any clarity or much of anything, it's a few hundred pages of typical mystery that any subject normally provides. When fiction works well, it provides insight, gusto, and obvious enjoyment. I just didn't get it here.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Konrad Kern VINE VOICE on January 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
`The Day Trader'is Stephen Frey's latest foray into the financial thriller. Not his best but still quite enjoyable.
When Augustus McKnight gets lucky on one of his stocks and makes a significant profit he thinks it'll make things all better for him and his wife. Wrong. Before he gets a chance to say anything she tells him she's leaving him and wants a divorce-it seems there is a greener pasture with her boss. The next day she is found murdered. He will be the beneficiary of a one million dollar life insurance policy taken out six months earlier. So he quits his regular job and decides to become a full time day trader. Needless to say there is a detective on his case as well as an insurance investigator. Now for some reason this seems very surprising to the, obviously very naïve, Augustus.
With some neat twists and turns, Frey has written an entertaining novel. The biggest flaw in this book (fairly significant) is the protagonist. Through most of the novel I could not have cared less about Augustus. As mentioned by other reviews, and to put it plainly, he was just too dumb to care about.
I kept waiting for him to get smart but the book ended before I got there.
Though the novel tells you a little about trading, it mostly deals with the murder mystery.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 10, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I first purchased this book, I was looking forward to the same quality of story and detail that I had come to enjoy in Frey's previous books. Sadly, this book did not live up to those ideals in that there seemed to be an element missing from this work that was in previous works. On the whole, it's a decent quick read, but not quite the level that should have been expected from Frey. Some of the nagging points I found in this book dealt with specific Washington, DC area elements that should have been better researched in order to have been portrayed in a context that one would expect the characters to know. The old dictum of writing what you know stands true, and there are times where one questions the level of research that went into certain elements of this story because I was questioning them in light of my knowledge of the area. I reserve judgement for future works when I have read them, but if you are new to Frey, pick up one of his earlier books as a first read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bob on January 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The best part about this book happens in the last few pages. I guess that is how a book should be,
but the text leading up to the ending should be better than this novel was. I have enjoyed most of
Stephen Frey's books, but this one was a let down. I was ready to give this a 2 star rating, until
the last few pages. It should not have been a surprise to me, but it was, probably because I lost a
lot of interest in the book and was not paying close enough attention. It Frey's previous books
the financial part was an important part of the story, but in this one the main character could have
worked as a janitor at a high school and the story could have basically been the same.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr D. on May 28, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Straying somewhat from his Wall Street roots, Stephen Frey ventures in the murder mystery genre and almost pulls it off.

Augustus McKnight (don't call him Gus) is a tall personable attractive man in his late twenties or early thirties. He appears to be stuck in a dead end job as a salesman for a paper company but he has plans. He has been boning up on the stock market for the last six months and controls a small on line account.

Augustus is married to his high school sweetheart, Melanie who is a knockout and can manipulate him through sex. She works in a law office in order to stay ahead of the bills and has even been working late into the night, recently, to make more money. She has been growing impatient with Augustus and feels he does not do enough to be successful.

In a quirk of luck, Augustus runs into a $90,000 IPO (Initial Public Offering) windfall. He is so pumped after work that he goes on a binge and gets home after Melanie. He can't wait to tell Melanie the good news but before he can do that she admits to an affair with her boss and asks for a divorce.

The next day he quits after his boss tries to shake him down for half stock market the profits. Later that night the police come to his home and tell him his wife has been brutally murdered.

Summary

At two hundred and ninety pages, things move fast. Augustus is also in line for a million dollar life insurance policy so he decides to go into Day Trading with his new found wealth. An old buddy of his, Vincent Carlucci, takes a renewed interest in Augustus and sets him up with some investors and things are really starting to look rosy but there's a storm on the horizon.

Everything in Augustus' life going back to high school and beyond has been a sham.
Read more ›
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More About the Author

Stephen Frey has written 18 novels. The latest, a political thriller entitled, ARCTIC FIRE, was published by Thomas & Mercer (Amazon Publishing) in October 2012. The sequel to ARCTIC FIRE, entitled RED CELL SEVEN, is scheduled for release by Thomas & Mercer in January 2014. The series follows the activities of RED CELL SEVEN, a top-secret intelligence group which has no formal reporting responsibilities to anyone inside the United States government and funds itself entirely with private sector money. Stephen is currently working on the third book in the series, KODIAK SKY, which is scheduled for release by Thomas & Mercer in January 2015.

Stephen began his career in finance, working at JP Morgan's New York City office in the mergers and acquisitions department before moving to Washington, DC in 1999 to work at Winston Partners in the group's private equity business. At Winston he led the investment into and chaired three of the firm's portfolio companies.

His first 14 novels involved the financial world, beginning with THE TAKEOVER which was published by Penguin Putnam in 1995.

In order, his other works are: THE VULTURE FUND (1996), THE INNER SANCTUM (1997), THE LEGACY (1998), THE INSIDER (1999), TRUST FUND (2001), THE DAY TRADER (2002), SILENT PARTNER (2003), SHADOW ACCOUNT (2004), THE CHAIRMAN (2005), THE PROTEGE (2005), THE POWER BROKER (2006); THE SUCCESSOR (2007), THE FOURTH ORDER (2007), FORCED OUT (2008), HELL'S GATE (2009) and HEAVEN'S FURY (2010). The first four novels were published by Penguin Putnam, the next 10 by Random House, the next 3 by Simon & Schuster and Stephen is published by Thomas & Mercer.


Stephen lives in northern Virginia, is an avid fisherman and has three wonderful daughters: Christina, Ashley and Gabriella.

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