Ruthless, selfish, dangerous. In fact, just right for the job. At top investment bank Bloomfield Weiss, they taught them to be predators, killer deal-makers. While on the bank's training programme in New York, Chris and Lenka had become part of a close-knit gang of trainees. But when a drunken boat trip ends in tragedy, the gang decide to cover up the truth. Ten years later Lenka is murdered in Prague. Chris, now her business partner, must fight to keep their company afloat - and discover who was behind Lenka's death. For it seems the clues to the murder are rooted in that fatal boat-trip so many years ago.
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Michael Ridpath's The Predator is further proof of the thriller writer's talent as a page-turning stylist of genuine skill and élan. The narrative engages the reader in the extremely pared-down part one, and grips like the proverbial vice in the considerably longer part two.
We're back in the double-dealing world of top investment banks; at Bloomfield Weiss, the highly paid employees are rigorously instructed in the vicious art of being killer deal-makers. During a punishing training programme in New York, Ridpath's protagonists Chris and Lenka have learned the lethal skills of their art and established a powerful bond. But during a drunken boat trip, one of the trainees dies, and the rest are left to conceal the truth about what happened. Ten years pass, and Chris finds himself watching Lenka blood's spill onto a snowy Prague Street after a brutal attack. Struggling to keep his own company afloat, he finds that tracking down Lenka's murderer may be the only means of saving his own life. Admittedly, the canny reader will quickly realise that the tragic death in both their pasts is the clue to the mayhem that ensues, but that hardly matters when Ridpath knows just how to rivet our attention:
For a fragment of a second, Chris didn't react: he was too surprised to take in what was happening. Then when he realised what the man was holding, he shouted and dived at him. But he was too slow. In one swift movement, the attacker grabbed Lenka by the collar of her coat with his left hand, yanked her backwards, and raised his knife to her throat with his right. Her eyes were wide with fear and shock, steel glinting against the paleness of her neck...Nothing is more satisfying than giving oneself a pat on the back, and those readers lucky enough to have caught onto the machine-tooled thrillers of Michael Ridpath right from the start have every right to be self-congratulatory, and for those who haven't here's a good place to start. -- Barry Forshaw From the Back Cover:
At top investment bank Bloomfield Wiess, they taught them to be winners, predators, killer deal-makers. While on the bank's training programme in New York, Chris and Lenka had become part of a close-knit gang of ambitious trainees, working and playing hard. But when a failed affair sparked a confrontation during a drunken boat-trip, one of the gang died, leaving the rest to cover up the truth of the tragedy.
Ten years later, a helpless Chris watches Lenka's lifeblood soak into the snow of a Prague street--and his world falls apart. With his friend and business partner dead, Chris not only has to fight to keep his company afloat in the face of nervous investors, but must also discover who is behind Lenka's seemingly random--but coolly professional--murder. Then others are killed and it looks like Chris could be next.
Now it seems that their shared past might contain an even more sinister secret than Chris had thought. And that someone from the training programme took their lessons rather too seriously. And they won't let anyone stand in their way ...
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0140295909 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW4.0061222
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110140295909