22 June 2011

Review: The Economics of Ego Surplus, A Novel of Economic Terrorism by Paul McDonnold

The Economics of Ego Surplus, A Novel of Economic Terrorism by Paul McDonnold book cover* From author for review *

This novel is about terrorism, but not the bloody terrorism we've come to know in the last 10 years or so. This time the terrorists are in suits and execute their attack from a conference room; this time they're not going to kill people, they're going to bring down an entire economy.

The US is the target, and Kyle Linwood is the main character - an economics lecturer at University recruited by the FBI to provide insight on a case. Kyle had a lucky escape 6 years ago in North Africa as a journo, and the FBI bring him on as a consultant. (Let me state here that the author doesn't place the entire success or failure of the case on Kyle's shoulders, which happens too often in action novels for my taste).

The threat to the US stock market and financial markets was frighteningly realistic and definitely got me thinking. I wonder if the US is prepared for an attack of this magnitude and what - if anything - they could do to prevent an attack of this nature from taking place. The flow on effect was convincingly real too. Interesting food for thought and I hope it never happens.

At some point reading the novel, I couldn't help but give some thought to the title. We all know the old adage 'don't judge a book by it's cover' but I'm often guilty of this one. Looking at the cover and title of this book, I must admit it looks like an economic text book to me rather than a thriller novel. I remembered the book covers of Black Market and Black Friday, both early financial thrillers by James Patterson, and a small part of me wished this novel had a different title or cover. Something to convey to the reader the suspense and action that it contains.

I loved the short, easy to read chapters and the information cleverly weaved into the narrative. Definitely a stand out feature of this novel for me. I realised I was learning about economics along the way, but in a method that was seamless and very easy to digest. (You don't need to have any previous knowledge of economics to enjoy this book). Reading the novel, I also learned more about the United Arab Emirates, the history of Dubai (which I found very interesting), and of course a little about Dallas too, Kyle's hometown.

In conclusion, this is a fantastic action thriller for the thinker who would like to take a look at what economic terrorism could do to the global economy.

(Click here for my interview with author Paul McDonnold published on 4 August 2011).

My rating = ****

Carpe Librum!

Would you like to comment?

  1. Good review.
    I had the same reaction to the cover as you, I was thinking "Tracey's going to review an economics textbook?"
    I guess that's kind of cool too though...
    Almost a reverse bait-and-switch.

  2. Thanks Shane, glad you liked it.


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