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The Set-Up Mass Market Paperback – December 15, 1998
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This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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From Library Journal
A man framed for financial fraud is rescued from prison by the same group responsible for his wrongful conviction. From the author of Zero Coupon (Forge,
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Current business headlines--the volatile derivative market, secret Swiss bank accounts, etc.--animate Erdman's latest financial thriller. The last thing Charles Black expects, when he lands in Basel to represent the U.S. at the monthly meeting of national bank leaders at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), is arrest by the Swiss police. Recently resigned after four years at the helm of the Federal Reserve Board, Black is a temporary special envoy to the BIS--until its Swiss and British delegates charge him with misuse of high office and a half-billion-dollar fraud, and the Basel prosecutor sends him to a fifteenth-century jail. Erdman's title gives the game away: someone really was speculating on interest and exchange rates using confidential BIS information. Black and his financially savvy wife encounter both venal and vicious adversaries as they strive to clear his name. Although most readers will never trade a Eurobond future, many seem to appreciate Erdman's fast-paced tales of the movers and shakers who do. Mary Carroll --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
Erdman's novels are centered around investments economics and high finance adventure. To an economist they are especially exciting but I think for most readers they are each an excellent read and The Set-up is no exception. I highly recommend it.
Erdman's strength in writing is the crystal-cut way in which his stories are crafted while at the same time being highly readable even for those who are not involved in finance or banking, and "The Setup" is no exception.
With regards to finance, the plot is plausible and well put together. What I see as Erdman's only weak point in this effort is the conclusion, which seemed a bit thrown together and rushed. Erdman's strengths as a writer and storyteller far outweigh any minor shortcomings in other areas. After reading "The Setup" I quickly sourced all of Erdman's other books and now keep them as part of my permanent collection.
Read "The Set-Up," his last novel, and you'll see what I mean. The book is far more realistic and employs less gimmickry than most such novels, and its accuracy is due to the fact that Erdman had a long career in finance, and he was once actually the president of a Swiss bank - the Salik Bank. Unfortunately, what the dust jacket does not tell you is that Erdman was convicted of banking fraud and imprisoned in the jail he describes in detail in this novel. How many other novelists have that type of experience that they can write about?
This enables some highly accurate detail, but it also gives Erdman an ax to grind, and the Swiss are not portrayed in a very flattering light. There are also some obvious examples of "writer's embellishment" when it tangentially connects the story with some famous financial fraud cases of the 1980s and '90s: Robert Vesco (who attended my high school), Robert Maxwell, and Michele "The Shark" Sindona, none of whom escaped as the book suggests, and it announces the death of Fidel Castro and subsequent riots in Cuba. It is a work of fiction.
Don't let the fact that this book was written in 1997 dissuade you from reading it, as greed continues unabated to this day and nothing has changed. One wishes that Erdman had been born later or lived longer, so that he could've commented on the present banking disaster. For those of you who find finance an esoteric topic, Erdman adequately explains trading futures by providing numerous examples in the story.
I doubt if anyone would classify this as literature, but it really is intelligent and informative entertainment.