Vonnegut, Norb. The Gods of Greenwich. Thomas Dunne: Minotaur. April 2011. c.336p. ISBN 978-0-312-38469-2. $24.99. Fiction.
Vonnegut follows up his debut (Top Producer) with a first-rate thriller set in the world of hedge fund managers during the 2008 financial meltdown. When Jimmy Cusack's father-in-law withdraws $120 million from Cusack’s fund, Cusack is forced to shut down. Heavily in debt, Cusack feels lucky to find work with LeeWell Capital in Greenwich, CT, ceremonial capital of “Hedgistan.” His boss, Cy Leeser, is locked in a battle over shorting Iceland’s Hafnarbanki. When one of the bank’s managers fights back with Arab support, the pressure increases on Cusack to find new investors. As the financial world collapses, a female assassin carries out her work. When Cusack’s pregnant wife, Emily, is threatened, he has to fight to save everything he values most in life. VERDICT Vonnegut’s skill at creating characters at risk will make even the less wealthy readers root for Cusack to survive his financial debacle with millions intact. This thriller will appeal to fans of Joseph Finder and might serve as a cautionary tale to anyone who envies the seemingly idyllic life of the superrich. But don’t we all like to read about them?