Urban Fantasy Author
Book Bling Blog
It was a bank robbery, however this time the gunmen came not for the cash but for the bank itself, and all that followed happened faster than a domino knockdown.
ABOUT THE SERIES
These are stories about a man who is not alive anymore. He was a financier, a retired intelligence officer. I had the good luck to arrange a couple of financial frauds. We bumped into each other before the recession, in the flood of shit, together in the dust. After his death I still had power of attorney.
This is a novella, and the second in a series of novellas. Unfortunately, I think much of the understanding of previous characters and plot were carried on into this work without the benefit of background information. Also, since English is not the author's first language, both sentence structure and unusual dialogue use sometimes make it difficult to understand who is speaking or what they are talking about.
The author calls her work financial thrillers. This is a new genre for me. I suppose it's meant to be along the lines of Wall Street insider trading schemes gone wild. The narration is in first person, and the author claims that first person to be herself. Since the plot gives a rather bleak and, therefore, accurate look at the financial disaster and corruption by middlemen and swindlers in Moscow who make their money by slowly destroying the banking industry, after reading the author's biography it is difficult not to feel she is not in fact the Anna from the novellas. It does contain an insider's slant that begs explanation, especially when one wonders if the loose ends are unknown elements or intentional hooks for the next book in the series.
The plot is fast-paced, but sometimes inconsistent, like a memoir being written by an ageing nursing home patient. There is also some course language some may find offensive. Both add to the "real" feel of this piece of "fiction".
Overall, this work would have scored much higher with me if the author found an English as first language speaker to clean up this Russian to English translation. Although, with dashes instead of quotation marks for dialogue, she would also benefit from a source language translator who went back through the manuscript to correct obvious computer language mistakes made by the translation software.
Book Bling gives this 3 stars.
I was born in Moscow. I studied at the Moscow State University at the Philosophical faculty. I got a PhD in philosophy and stayed without work and without money. The financial crisis began. Some years I was looking for a work, but took it easy. My ex-husband was a dissident and we expected that the Union would collapse. I was a securities trader in an investment company by chance. And then there was the default in 1998. I was without work again.
This was my best time. I became the financial middleman of off-market private transactions. I had nothing. I have been looking for too-big deals. But then there was a time that it was quite possible for me to be the middleman in the sale of a Libyan oil tanker or the sale of aircrafts abroad. I got sick of conducting multi-million dollar transactions and lost all sense of reality.
I met Victor. He was a retired Foreign Intelligence Service officer. He was a magnificent fraudster. I understand how strange it sounds. But at that time before the Yeltsin decree in February 1996 the Intelligence Service was pumped up by money. And Intelligence Service officers one by one began to hold the post of deputy chairmen of the bank. It had happened overnight. Certainly, I could say: he was a magnificent financier, but... to call him as a financial fraudster would be more truthful.
Capturing the bank was in my sights. The insider of the bank was the vice-president of the bank. I write about his capture almost unchanged. Victor would be recognized by his conversations. Before leaving, he left me his three passports... So I do not know his real name. There were no closed doors for him. He had friends from the federal agency for government communication and information and from the board of directors of Deutsche Bank. All kinds of people.
Years passed. Victor is long gone. And there are fewer middlemen.
I feel myself to be on the way out. The whole generation is on the way out as well, those who are described as robbing the country. I like those who robbed the country, and I'm pleased how it was done. They were really talented financiers, nothing worse than financiers on Wall Street. They left the country and have taken the money with them. Since then, Moscow's air did not smell of millions any longer. But it seemed to me, it was still in the depths of my house between a pile of white shirts.
Now there are no more financial middlemen. The young have got jobs first. They receive a salary at the end of the month, and seem to have already forgotten the smell of crazy millions. It's like being drunk. There's a dizziness from it... They did not want to breathe this air. They did not want to poison their lives. They earned their money. They had wives, children, dogs, cars, which it is necessary to care of... Their heads have been overflowing with thoughts of petty cash.
Then the middlemen were old. And I stayed with them. Therefore, the heroes of my novels are in their sixties. For the former friends who stayed in the stock market I became infected. No, I just died. And I have been smelling of sweet cadaveric decay. It seemed to me that I was among the dead. And it felt really bad for me as a living being. But I shared their way of thinking. I was the same as they were. Ridiculous and old-fashioned, useless clutter, rubbish. Market garbage.
My friends were precisely the same as a middle-aged gentleman. Sometimes I catch a strange look at myself, but then forgot about it. The metropolis cleaned me from their memory. There was no need to be as nice as kind people who talk with clients and colleagues daily. I had a different way of talking. My talking always led to a deal. And in case it didn't, I would give the finger and immediately forget the useless person as if shaking off dust. And that's all.
I have nothing to regret. I had nothing to blame myself for. Dogs wouldn't blame themselves for their dog's life, would they?
I could not return back to the stockmarket. It has changed. Brokers, buyers, and sellers have been changed. They all had grown up a little. They have got each other for 0.1 percent interest, ready to set their ass to everyone at 0.5 percent, and would sell their own mother at one percent. I could not do that. The market has kicked me out as garbage.
And the old, among whom I used to be, are gone. The reality of small money has burnt out people around me as fire burns wood. Sometimes it seems to me that I have gone mad, that I live in the world turned inside out. Sometimes I would like to be like anyone... to have a rest, eat, dress, buy a car...
But I can't do it. It would be a living death.
It seems to me I would lose days and years and end up in devastation and poverty. And I would lose the scent of money, and the skill ... I clung to the sale of oil, diamonds, and bank guarantees, though I'm sure that it was simply thin air and there was nothing behind it. Sometimes I woke up and thought that all was not with me. But I lived and breathed the air of millions. It was my life. In my life I gained money from thin air. Emptiness is a magnet for me.
Now I have got nothing. I do not care. I like my life. I like to go for millions. It's impossible to stop me. I might be put down like a mad dog.
And I still have a sense of money. I can smell the street's air and say that the market has changed. It smells as sharp as the smell of fresh bread from a bakery in the frost.
THE DEAD BANK DIARY is my first novel. There will be more.
I write in the genre of financial thriller.
My novels are not based on real events (that would be silly)), but you will feel the reality.
All my characters are real people.
The story goes from the first person, it's me. No crimes, or anything of the kind. No politics or 'danger' Russian reality. Only MONEY. The beautiful frauds which may occur at any bank. I love beautiful gray schemes, on the verge of crime.
Please read about the Series and an interview with me on RobberMagazine.com
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