Buchholz, Todd. The Castro Gene. Oceanview Publishing. May 2007. c.320p. ISBN 978-1-933515-06-9. $24.95. Fiction.

After killing an opponent in the ring, boxer Luke Braden decides to change his life. Hired as a security guard at an investment firm, he grows envious of the young Olympians who work the trading floor. Educating himself in the world of high finance, he soon catches the eye of hedge-fund king Paul Tremont, who offers him a job managing hedge-fund accounts and sports marketing. The salary: $630,000 a year, provided Luke passes three tests. But Tremont, a master manipulator, has yet bigger plans for Luke, whose true identity figures in a scheme to assassinate Castro and take over the Cuban economy. Hedge-fund manager Buchholz’s (New Ideas from Dead CEOs) fiction debut is a mixed bag. Readers will root for Luke as he tries to handle the challenges of high finance, even if they find the details of his rocketing career difficult to believe. The entertaining story, however, is marred by disconcerting jumps in point of view and awkward shifts in verb tense. And the expectation of an explosive finale fades away in the face of a subdued and rushed conclusion that disappoints. Not quite at the level of Christopher Reich or Joseph Finder, this business thriller is recommended for larger public libraries.

Library Journal, 132, no. 9 (May 15, 2007), p. 77.

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