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The Swindler Paperback – April 16, 2010
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About the Author
Michelle Malsbury was born and raised in Champaign, Illinois. Currently she resides in Florida. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Management and a Masters Degree in Business Management. She has just completed her first year of doctoral studies in the discipline of Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies with high hopes of helping to build nations and sustain peaceful interactions around the globe.
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By R. Rubenstein "RJR" (looking for a place) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Swindler (Paperback)
For the sheer scope of this novel, Ms. Malsbury must be commended. A cast of characters with raw, honest, often low-down morals vie with each other for dominance in a power driven, terrible world. Skip Horowitz is a devotee of Bernie Madoff and the chief villain of this frank and brutally honest story. He is a nasty man who has done unspeakable acts. In vivid dialogue amid true settings in the Florida Keys, Malsbury seems to have been the fly on the wall to illustrate a way of life that falls a little outside our more high brow definitions about civility. Maybe that's what draws us in as readers. Reminiscent in parts of Peyton Place or Last Exit To Brooklyn, Horowitz and his thugs, and cobra-type women who could take two men at a time and wrap them around a barroom flagpole like pretzels, The Swindler ultimately develops a wicked punch. Personally, as a writer myself, I would have wanted to kill off the whole bunch of them. That's why Ms. Marlsury has a more suble, controlled gift. Her honesty of portrayal--her ability to hold back from moral judgment--makes this sweeping tale totally believeable. There was one blemish I could not, ultimately, reconcile. I could not see this man with a limited education comprehending the intricacies of the financial world with its thugs who seemed to be just as comfortable being shadows on bathroom walls. But that is also why paradoxically I cannot dismiss this story so easily. I do not know these people, this world. It is a marvel that Michelle does. She shows them for what they are, not what she may want them to be. I was not happy with Skip's character. More vacuous than I would want, I can not have any empathy for those who cannot feel. But again, Ms. Malsbury cares more about truth than romantic visions. She displays her own brand of courage in portraying a gritty realism. Her ability to create a story with intricate story lines, twists and turns like a ball of yarn, is worthy of Hollywood consideration. Movie people out there--this is a story of America told by a natural storyteller whose passion is much greater than the story she tells. That being said, The Swindler deserves to be on that special shelf of early twenty first literature that uncovers the real fiction about our values, and how our choice is often to cheat and call that life. A hard-hitting book about a disgraceful lot that deserves five stars because of the mischief the author uncovers about this shocking sub-culture that has been germinating everywhere, but never so illuminated as in the sweet surroundings Ms. Malsbury inhabits.
In The Swindler, by Michelle Malsbury, you will find yourself being pulled in to a fictional tale of romance and a lot commodities swindling through the eyes of a third person narrator.
So come along and meet true to life and memorable characters such as: Catherine, The Realtor/Commodities Broker, Connie, Catherine's best friend, Shamus, Real Estate Broker and the man who thinks he is the right man for Catherine and last but not least, Skip Horowitz, a ruthless Ponzi Schemer who is being investigated by the Feds.
It's a gripping tale that will make you want to keep turning those pages to see what happens next.
Set in Key West, Florida, the author displays her vast love for and knowledge of the area so well, that if you have not been there and know nothing about Key West, perusing The Swindler by Michelle Malsbury will indeed give you a rich education into that paradise.
So come on and enjoy this well written and detailed tale and see if Catherine really thinks Shamus is the right man for her, and if the elusive Skip Horowitz gets the justice he so deserves.
I enjoyed it and I think you will too.
Take this book to the beach with you - or wherever you might go to find undisturbed reading time, because you won't want to put it down.