The Darlings by Cristina Alger, 352 pages.Available in hardcover, ebook, Kindle, and Nook from Pamela Dorman Books.
A sophisticated page-turner about a wealthy New York family embroiled in a financial scandal with cataclysmic consequences.
Now that he's married to Merrill Darling, daughter of billionaire financier Carter Darling, attorney Paul Ross has grown accustomed to New York society and all of its luxuries: a Park Avenue apartment, weekends in the Hamptons, bespoke suits. When Paul loses his job, Carter offers him the chance to head the legal team at his hedge fund. Thrilled with his good fortune in the midst of the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression, Paul accepts the position.
But Paul's luck is about to shift: a tragic event catapults the Darling family into the media spotlight, a regulatory investigation, and a red-hot scandal with enormous implications for everyone involved. Suddenly, Paul must decide where his loyalties lie-will he save himself while betraying his wife and in-laws or protect the family business at all costs?
A few weeks ago, I finished the memoir of Stephanie Madoff Mack whose husband Mark (Bernie's son) comitted suicide after despairing over his father's lies and thievery. Having read that book added a bit of extra dimension to The Darlings, which gives a 360 degree view of a fictional (but similar) financial scandal. It was a fast moving, engaging story that skims the surface of all involved - from the family whose reputation is ruined, to the SEC investigators, the reporter, attorneys, and secretaries. If you have ever had an office job, you know it is the administrative support staff that really knows what's going on. While I found all the perspectives had something to offer, I did wish that Paul and Merrill's story had gone a bit deeper. In a story with so many shifty characters, it is natural to want to rally behind the "good" guys and I wanted to know more about their relationship, in particular. I appreciated the quick pace and how Alger managed to keep it moving and still connect the dots. She also had a gentle touch with her characters, giving insight into their motivations without condoning their behavior. And I was surprised by the element of suspense - not a thriller, but definitely a slow simmer. I found it to be a fascinating look into a world of privilege, excess, and deception, where loyalty is not necessarily a virtue. If you are looking for a timely and effortless read, The Darlings would be a good fit for your outdoor reading bag. (Hello Spring, welcome!)
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Thank you the kind folks at Viking for providing both a review & giveaway copy!
Visit the author website: http://cristinaalger.com