After young venture capitalist Simon Ayot finds his father-in-law lying dead from a gunshot wound, and all the damning evidence points to Simon. With the police determined to prove his guilt, and even his grief-stricken wife beginning to suspect him, he races to clear his name and save his marriage-all too aware that the next murder may very well be his own....
Praise for bestselling author Michael Ridpath:
"Move over, John Grisham. A new star has entered the world of popular action fiction." -Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan
"Michael Ridpath plots his story tightly and smoothly and roams all his worlds, virtual and otherwise, with authority."-New York Times
"[Ridpath] makes you feel... the thrill of playing a hunch and getting it right."-Los Angeles Times
"Entertaining....Succeeds at becoming more than a thriller without breaking the mounting tensions of the story." -Newsday
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Michael Ridpath knows how to follow the money, something he did quite successfully in his previous financial thriller, The Market Maker. In Final Venture, his protagonist is Simon Ayot, a likable young British associate at Revere, a venture capital company whose senior managing partner, Frank Cook, is also Simon's father-in-law. Simon has just pulled off a major coup for the firm, so when Frank abruptly denies a life-or-death round of further investment in NetCo, Simon's most promising high-tech client, he's completely surprised. Could it be that Frank believes the rumors floating around that Simon's been having more than business meetings with a woman in the firm? Vowing to dispel the rumors and change Frank's mind about dumping NetCo, Simon goes to the Marshes, Frank's country house, only to find him murdered. The police don't believe Simon's alibi, and soon even Lisa, his wife, is suspicious.
Meanwhile, the firm is still reeling from Frank's death. Its biggest investment in BioOne, a biomedical research firm, is in trouble, and Simon's attempts to get to the bottom of it reveal a corrupt link between Revere, BioOne, and the pharmaceutical company where Lisa is employed, which suddenly becomes a takeover target. Ridpath does a good job of explaining the arcane details of venture capital financing, but makes little of his setting (Boston) and even less of character motivation. In the absence of enough evidence to arrest Simon, it's difficult to believe that Lisa would suddenly turn on her brand-new husband, and her lack of insight concerning her own father's private life seems strange in light of their supposed closeness. The writing is sometimes clumsy, but readers interested in the intricacies of high finance in the venture capital market will find this a good primer on the subject. --Jane AdamsFrom Publishers Weekly:
Life has been good for Simon Ayot: he enjoys working for a prominent venture capital firm in Boston and he loves his wife, Lisa. But near the beginning of this lackluster novel, Simon's world begins to crumble. First, his request for added funds for a company he has been championing is rejected by his colleagues. Then he goes to visit Lisa's father only to find him dead. Simon becomes the prime suspect, and soon the police find a pistol that they believe Simon used in the killing. Meanwhile, Lisa moves out and then loses her biotech research position as a result of funding arranged by Simon's employer. Simon manages to hang on to his job but spends most of his time playing sleuth as he tries to clear his name, traveling from Boston to New York to California. Although the behind-the-scenes look at how venture capitalists work is somewhat intriguing, Ridpath's (The Market Maker) plot is alternately predictable and implausible. (Aug.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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