Thursday, February 8, 2024

The Bezzle

The Bezzle by Cory Doctorow
2/20/24; 240 pages
Tor Publishing Group
Martin Hench #2

The Bezzle by Cory Doctorow is a financial thriller that offers a glimpse along with real insight into financial shenanigans. It is very highly recommended.

In 2006 Martin Hench, a self-employed forensic accountant, is vacationing with his friend Scott Warms on Catalina Island, where there is no crime. Martin uncovers a black market financial pyramid scheme that is based on the resale of fast food on the island where fast food chains are banned. He knows that the man running the scheme, Lionel Coleman Jr., is going to take all the money the islanders have invested so he helps them bring the scheme down. Lionel finds out Martin and Scott were involved in ending the fast food scam, so he gets revenge on Scott, who ends up sent to prison. But this is just the beginning of the scams Martin uncovers that are being perpetrated by the ultra-wealthy, including California’s Department of Corrections.

The fascinating narrative is via Martin telling someone the story about his experiences in 2006 leading up to the 2008 financial crash. Doctorow does an excellent job writing about what could be considered boring financial details that a forensic accountant uncovers and makes the examination interesting. He knows about tech-sector monopolies, copyright laws, and  internet ethics. He also understands that some of these wealthy people wield real power behind the scenes.

Most of the novel is akin to a procedural and provides details into the financial aspects of cases leading ultimately up to a final major encounter/case. The writing is clear, clever, and concise. This can work as a stand-alone novel. 4.5 rounded up. Thanks to Tor for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

No comments: