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VULTURE CAPITAL (August Riordan Series Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Mark Coggins
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

When venture capitalist Ted Valmont is belatedly informed that the Chief Scientist of NeuroStimix--a biotech firm in which he has invested--is missing, it's not just business, it's personal. Not only is the scientist an old school chum, but his disappearance jeopardizes the development of NeuroStimix's most important product: a device intended to aid spinal cord injury victims. Since Valmont's twin brother, Tim, was paralyzed in a college diving accident, finding the scientist and getting him back into harness is of the utmost importance to both brothers.

Valmont engages August Riordan to assist in the search and the men soon discover that the disappearance is part of a larger conspiracy to use NeuroStimix technology for perverse applications. And when a beautiful, mysterious young woman comes onto the scene, it's impossible to say whether the technology will provide the ultimate means to save them all or be the catalyst for tortuous, self-inflicted deaths...

Editorial Reviews


"Fast cars, nymphomaniac rich kids, billionaires with short attention spans and long money: a truer picture of Silicon Valley can't be found. In a world transformed through technology-driven change, we need new heroes, a new James Bond--Ted Valmont is it."

"Po Bronson, for all his talents, did not catch the Valley's entrepreneurial/venture capital lifeblood in The First Twenty Million Is Always the Hardest as unerringly as Coggins does in Vulture Capital ... A trip through the dark satanic mills of venture capital with Chandler or Hammett as tour guide."

"[D]ry ice sarcasm ... and plenty of nasty chuckles in route."
--Wall Street Journal

"Peppered with local landmarks and tech in-jokes, Vulture Capital exposes the seamy underside of venture capital, populated by back-stabbing partners, corrupt CEOs and nasty funding boards."
--Silicon Valley Metro

"Coggins has a talent for penning credible, often clever dialogue, and some of his more cynical remarks and observations about modern society might reduce a nun to gales of laughter."
--January Magazine

About the Author

Mark Coggins's work has been nominated for the Shamus and the Barry crime fiction awards and selected for best of the year lists compiled by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Detroit Free Press and, among others. His novels Runoff and The Big Wake-Up won the Next Generation Indie Book Award and the Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) respectively, both in the crime fiction category. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Linda.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1844 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1460979478
  • Publisher: Philodox Press; 4 edition (February 28, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0015YJ9QG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #854,645 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silicon Valley cool September 3, 2002
Vulture Capital is a well executed, slightly twisted and weird, but completely believable story about the dark side of Silicon Valley's start-up community.
Venture Capitalist Ted Valmont is informed that the brains behind a biotechnology start-up he's funded called NeuroStimix is missing. Without the technology guru, NeuroStimix's future is in jeopardy just as a new product designed to aid spinal cord injury victims is about to come to market. Valmont engages PI August Riordan to help find the missing man and we soon learn that the disappearance is part of a larger conspiracy to use NeuroStimix technology for dastardly purposes. To complicate matters, the missing man is Valmont's buddy and Valmont's own brother, as a spinal injury patient, would benefit from the NeuroStimix discovery.
Co-founder of a failed Internet start-up, Mark Coggins injects lots of local color into his work. Technology-types and dot-com veterans will especially appreciate the Silicon Valley photos and clever quotes, which open each chapter. Settings and situations will be familiar to industry types, but the jargon is not overwhelming. The book is even dedicated to the Sock Puppet.
VULTURE CAPITAL is the second in a series featuring August Riordan, a private eye we first met in Coggins' well-reviewed debut THE IMMORTAL GAME (2000). THE IMMORTAL GAME received extraordinary attention for a debut title from a very small press. It was chosen as a Penzler pick and nominated for a Shamus Award. This would only happen because the book was good. Expect similar praise for VULTURE CAPITAL. According to the excellent Vulture Capital Website... we can expect more titles to come in the Riordan series
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine, distinctive, new noir October 27, 2002
By billpz
An extradorinarily fine and distinctive mystery. Noir updated and downloaded. And a savage morality play.
Focused writing. And it has enough secrets that it is easy to be surprised, even when you think you're ahead of the plot.
A cliffhanger, too.
Fans of Coggins' first mystery will enjoy encountering the Riordan / Duckworth team from a different perspective.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Valmont, Ted Valmont June 18, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this biotech thriller set in California's Silicon Valley. When a biotech scientist for a company on the verge of a groundbreaking discovery goes missing, Ted Valmont, the capital exec sponsoring the Biotech tries a little detective work. Like a modern day James Bond, Valmont manages wine tastings and lunches as well as getting himself into a lot of trouble as he uncovers a devious plan. The story moves along at a very nice pace and though this seems to be the second in a series but I had no trouble getting involved in this slightly disturbing look at the Biotech world. Now I have to go find book 1.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Venture adventure that is worth the trip April 30, 2011
By Russ
I have read and enjoyed Mark Coggins' three more recent mystery novels that feature the August Riordan private eye character, and finally circled back to read this earlier book. Although Mr. Riordan is merely a hired hand of venture capitalist Ted Valmont in this caper, it's still a captivating and exciting page-turner.

In The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story (I think), Michael Lewis describes venture capitalists as ducks huddling together on Sand Hill Road. This image has stuck with me as I read news accounts of venture capitalists frequently chasing the same investment idea until it's beaten to death. In "Vulture Capital," Mark Coggins presents a more Machiavellian image of the venture capital industry; the beatings are ... a bit more than figurative. Anybody who enjoys a good detective yarn should pick this one up, even more so if you have some experience navigating Silicon Valley geography and it's personalities.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A little bit of Valley reality in book form September 4, 2010
After letting it sit in my stack of unread books for 3 years, I dusted off Vulture Capital and am glad I did. While I now live on the East Coast, I spend 12 years in Silicon Valley and came in daily contact with several of the Ted Valmont and Larry Breens of the world. Mark captures their sense of self-importance extremely well, helping the reader to understand the basic psychy of the many 'internet tycoons' - a sense of having a license to do whatever they want to do simply because they are suddenly rich. He balances this by showing the downside of impetuous actions brought about by their human frailities.

While the technolology profiled in the book still borders on fiction, a well paced plot and well defined characters makes this an interesting, easy story to follow. It is just over the line from today's biotech reality.

But one question puzzles did Coggins decide that Riordan, not Valmont would be the main character to base future books on? I'd love to see Coggins write a series with Ted as the hero and Riordan as a minor character, as in this book.

I give it three stars.
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More About the Author

Mark Coggins studied creative writing with Tobias Wolff and Ron Hansen at Stanford University and wrote the first story featuring his series character August Riordan in a class taught by Hansen. This story, "There's No Such Thing as Private Eyes," was later published in The New Black Mask, a revival of Black Mask, the famous pulp magazine that thrived in the 30s and 40s.

His books have been nominated for the Shamus and the Barry crime fiction awards and have been selected for best of the year lists compiled by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Detroit Free Press and, among others.

Two of his novels have been translated for foreign markets. RUNOFF won the Next Generation Indie Book Award in the Mystery/Suspense category, THE BIG WAKE-UP won the Independent Publisher Book Award in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category and THE IMMORTAL GAME was optioned for a film. His work has been collected for the California History Room by the California State Library and the San Francisco History Center by the San Francisco Public Library.

Mark lives in San Francisco with his wife Linda and their cat Taki.

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