60 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2002
I've read Meltzer's three earlier books and think very highly of them, especially The First Council. Though I've been looking forward to The Millionaires, I was worried that he was due for a bit of a letdown. I am very pleased to say that The Millionaires may be his best yet.
Oliver and Charles, two brothers, decided to steal three million dollars from the bank at which they work. They need the money to help their mother with her bills and to get out of debt themselves. They develop what they believe to be a fool-proof plan. Someone, however, is one step ahead of them, and the price they pay as a result is high.
The Millionaires is written from the first-person perspective of the main character, Oliver, which makes for a very fast and entertaining read. In fact, Meltzer may be one of the finest first-person writers around today. Each of his characters is well developed and the plot moves quickly. The twists and turns that make this novel so entertaining are unexpected yet believable, which only adds to the feel of the story. Of course, perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book is that as we follow the characters through their ordeals, we can relate to the dilemma that they faced in deciding to take the money.
Other recommendations - The Tenth Justice, Dead Even, and The First Council by Brad Meltzer. Anyone who enjoys Jeffery Deaver, James Patterson, Vince Flynn, John Sandford, or any of John Grishams older books will love this author.
50 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2002
I was very excited to see that one of my favorite authors had a new book released. My only problem is that I devoured this book in 1 day and now I have to wait at least a year until his next one. BOO HOO!
Meltzer's latest has 2 brothers trying to steal 3 million dollars from the highly exclusive bank they work in. It seems like a fool proof plan. Play a dead guy and collect $3 million. The only problem is that someone else set it up and wants in on it when he discovers that the brothers took his con. My favorite part has to be when the 3 of them are trying to figure out where to wire the money to. The Caymans? Nah, everyone sends it there ever since Grisham popularized it in 'The Firm'.
All in all, a great romp, yes romp, of a book! It's a quick and easy read. Meltzer really sucks you in with his characters. I hope he brings back one of the minor ones, Joey, a private investigator, in another book. His use of location is fantastic. You really get a great sense of being in Disney and when you do go there, I know I'll be watching Snow White to see where she goes :)
Buy this book, you won't regret it!
Thanks for reading!
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio Cassette
Tony Goldwyn, grandson of Hollywood's legendary Samuel Goldwyn, gives a convincing delivery of popular author Brad Meltzer's latest foray into thrillerdom. Even if Goldwyn did not bear that open-doors name he would be a standout. Multi talented, he produces, directs, acts (Oliver Stone's "Nixon" and "The Pelican Brief"), and is a commanding voice-over artist ("Tarzan" and "Pocahontas"). His television credits are also impressive - "Frasier," "L.A. Law," and "St. Elsewhere."
Scott Brick is an equally deft performer who also read Meltzer's "First Counsel." "Cyrano," "Hamlet," and "Macbeth" are among his stage credits, while many will remember him in the motion pictures "Robin Hood" and "Men In Tights."
"The Millionaires," Meltzer's fourth thriller takes us into the rarefied world of million dollar banking, cyber pyrotechnics, and then to of all places Disney World. It's a fast paced romp that will please this imaginative writer's fans.
Oliver Caruso is in the employ of one of Manhattan's most upscale banks, Greene & Greene. The institution is so select that two million is needed just to achieve the status of client. Oliver's been toiling for Henry Lapidus, an exec at this financial palace. Regrettably, Lapidus doesn't appreciate Oliver's ministrations and is attempting to scuttle his minion's career plans. What's the poor guy to do? He enlists the aid of his younger brother, Charlie, who has problems staying gainfully employed. The pair decide to take three million dollars sitting in an abandoned account. They'll soon be living the life of Riley - if Riley had a seven figure deposit in an offshore bank, that is.
What a piece of a cake - with a very rich icing. They've found the perfect crime. Problem is, make that plural, problems are that somehow the original three million has undergone a cyberspace evolution and become $300 million. Not only that but some others at Greene & Greene had their own plans for the funds in this abandoned account, and someone is found dead.
Now the bros are really in hot water. The local authorities are after them as is the Secret Service. However, they do manage to get to Florida, attempting to follow the money to the daughter of the account's late owner. Said owner was a techno wiz for Disney, a mind boggling inventor. As amazing as the wiz's invention is, it's really nothing compared to what Oliver and Charlie eventually discover in this page-turner of a tale.
Those with an interest in high and low finance will find enjoyment aplenty in "The Millionaires." Meltzer fans will revel in their author's latest spin on boardroom crime.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I always look forward to the latest Meltzer novel and this, again, was no disappointment.
Charlie and Oliver Caruso, two brothers working for Greene and Greene, a private bank that requires a minimum of 2 million dollars to open an account, stumble upon an abandoned account containing 3 million dollars. In what they think is a foolproof plan, they talk themselves into stealing it. Well it wasn't foolproof. First of all, when they transfer the 3 million they receive quite a shock when they look at their deposit. Secondly a friend of theirs is shot and they are blamed. In the meantime two rogue secret service agents are after them as is a private investigator. How do you try to clear your name if indeed you're guilty?
I really enjoyed this fast-paced thriller. Of course, like everyone else, I thought of Grisham when reading this. Better than the new Grisham, comparable to the old. Laced with some humorous dialogue and some surprising twists. I think lovers of the thriller will like this one. Disneyland was a Hoot. The secret service's roll in this novel took me somewhat by surprise.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2002
Meltzer has published a draft screenplay in the guise of a book. Perhaps the results would have been better if the movie had come first and the book had been embellished out of the screenplay. Then, the public clearly would have known that this was a "movie book" being marketed. Instead, it's a crassly commercial con job and one lousy piece of writing.
Within a few pages, the reader gets the drift. There is no theme worth looking for; we all know that money is becoming virtual. The plot is contrived to show off a few banking and surveillance tricks, and it ends in an extended real-world violent chase thru cinematic Disneyworld -- perfect for the movie this book was written to spawn. The characters are caricatures -- static, clumsily drawn, and animated by superficial motives that have no traction with the emotions of the reader. Meltzer's dialogue frequently is [foolish] and, between the main characters, two brothers, quippish like the banter in a flat episode of M*A*S*H.
... I did finish reading my copy, and I hope to warn you off.
Don't be fooled by Meltzer's name-dropping in the foreward where he thanks numerous people in banking, law enforcement and investigation for supposedly helping him penetrate the worlds of banking and surveillance. Genuine insider details are not here. This book is all on the surface and designed for the camera. Meltzer has used, and abused, his readers.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2005
Listening to these two brothers "talk" to each other is tantamount to sitting on a plane between two five-year-olds bickering and screaming at each other. On Meltzer's website, he said he didn't have a brother (just a sister) so he "researched" the brother aspect by talking to people who had brothers. That is like me saying I learned the intricacies of space travel by watching Lost in Space.
While there are many, many problems with this so-called novel, the most egregious by far is the inane dialogue. As opposed to talking to each other, the two lead characters, brothers, communicate by arguing, unfunny in-jokes, figuratively winking at each other and finishing each others thoughts telepathically. Come on ... give me a break.
As I struggled to finish this garbage, I could almost see Meltzer clacking away at his keyboard, self-congratulatory over his sophomoric prose, regaling in his childish dialogue, grinning as he finishes another awkward and clumsily worded chapter. His wife, Cori, devotedly by his side, goading him on, fully aware of the conspiracy they're involved in --- foisting unintelligible, pretentious verbiage upon an unsuspecting American public. I can hear her now, chuckling over another one of her husband's amateurish sentences, "Ohhh, that's terrific, honey, another bestseller, another check!"
I realize that some people will gravitate towards this garbage because it is an easy read, and I'm not proposing reading Tolstoy, but there are soooooooooo many better authors out there. Try Harlan Coben, or Carl Hiaasen, or Robert Ferrigno, or Greg Isles, or Elmore Leonard.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2002
What would you do if you could steal and not get caught? That is the question at the heart of `The Millionaires'.
Two brothers, Charlie and Oliver Caruso work for Greene And Greene, a private bank that will only take customers willing to put in at least two million dollars. When the brothers Caruso are doing a check of accounts, they come across an account that should have been closed, but suspiciously remains open, and in the account lies three million dollars. After investigating further into this matter, they find the man who the account belongs to is dead.
While their wheels are spinning about what to do, the brothers decide to take the money from the account, and transfer it to an account for themselves...after all who would miss the money?
As their plan goes into motion, a fellow co-worker gets killed, and the Secret Service are on their tail tracking every move.
How did anyone know what they did? Why is the Secret Service involved? Who is the mysterious woman also tailing them? And how will the brothers prove their innocence?
Now on the run for the murder of their friend, Charlie and Oliver must work quick if they are to find the answers to these questions, but what they find is a shocking secret that will change their lives.
`The Millionaires' is another fast-paced, page turner from Brad Meltzer, the best-selling author of `The First Counsel'. And while the plot gets a little confusing, Meltzer manages to keep the reader hooked all the way to the tidy ending. With loads of shady characters, unexpected plot twists, and shocking secrets revealed at just the right time, `The Millionaires' proves to be a sure bet for non-stop entertainment.
Brad Meltzer has written another winner, that will surely fly up the best-seller lists, and keep readers anxiously awaiting his next novel.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2002
I read in one night. I had no intention of staying up to 3:00 a.m. to finish it but I did. I simply could not stop reading.
The characters are great, the dialogue is believable, funny, and at times poignant.
But most of all, it was the details. It's terrifically technical--who would think banking would be not only interesting, but frightening.
I may just it all under my mattress from here on in.
Read it. You'll lose sleep, too.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2002
Exciting and intriguing storyline destroyed by simplistic and ridiculous dialog, mainly between the brothers. The brothers' relationship, while certainly brotherly, detracts from what could have been the centrally interesting theme: tomfoolery within the intricacies of an ultra-private bank and its consequences. Meltzer can do much better, and owes his fans that.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I listened to the unabridged audio version of this book which was read by Scott Brick. While the book is fast-paced and keeps your interest up, the plot is extremely unrealistic and unlikely. In particular, as someone who has worked in finance, I found the banking scam extremely unbelievable. The details of the scam are glossed over in smoke-and-mirrors fashion. I found plenty to take the edge off my enjoyment (I can't say I totally hated it.) The violence was graphic and gratuitious. Other readers have noted the unlikely telepathy between the brothers. Why was the lady private eye constantly on the line reporting to her secretary, even in the middle of a risky break-in?? And the ending was most unsatisfying. To top it all off, I found the reader in the audio version irritating in the extreme with his overly dramatic style. If this was a first novel, I'd say it was a good start. Meltzer tells a story well but needs help with the dialogue. And he should do more research before coming up with something so thin on which to hang the entire plot. I have not read any other books by Meltzer but nonetheless am willing to give him another try.