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Friday, February 28, 2014

The Deal by Adam Gittlin

The DealThe Deal by Adam Gittlin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mark March 4, 2014, on the Calendar because that's the date the sequel to **The Deal**, by * Adam Gittlin*, is going to be published. There is also supposed to be a third novel in this series, and I'm sure I'll be in line for that one as well. The second book is called **About Face**, and if it's even half as good as **The Deal**, readers should be flocking to favorite book stores to get it.

**The Deal** was my kind of novel right from the start. I enjoy stories about Wall Street and Finance in almost any situation because I think it's a fascinating subject which, if handled correctly, just can't go wrong. Adam Gittlin knows just how to use what could be confusing information as the basis for his story, without leaving me scratching my head wondering what just happened. Finance can be a bit on the tedious side to read about unless the author has such a thorough knowledge of the subject himself that he can break it down into easily understood segments. Add to that an excellent mind-bending mystery, and you've got what should be a best seller. That's exactly what **The Deal** has to offer: Best Seller quality.

**The Deal** begins with Jonah Gray living in a place he will not name for his own safety's sake. He says he cannot reveal much about his life currently, but he believes telling his story will have therapeutic value for him. What got him into the current predicament has to do with his receiving a call from an old friend of his, Andreu Zhamovsky, who is the head of Prevko, one of the world's most vital natural gas corporations working out of Russia. Andreu tells Jonah that Prevko has decided it's time to diversify their interests, and they want to begin by getting into New York Commercial Real Estate. Since Jonah, and his team, is at the top of the Commercial Real Estate market, it makes perfect sense for Andreu to contact him with an offer to be in charge of this project. Andreu has a few stipulations Jonah believes will be very difficult, if not impossible, to get past, but no matter what objections he voices, Andreu has a ready solution to bypass the concerns. If this deal gets done, the commission for each member of Jonah's team will be $1 million. On the basis of that number alone, Jonah believes he can convince his team to go along with this once in a lifetime opportunity. Even though the team voices the same concerns Jonah saw when he was first approached, they are eventually convinced to do the deal. Who can possibly say no to a cool $1 million when there's little risk or roadblocks standing in the way? So, the deal is a go for all concerned.

After everyone is on board, it's time to focus on what properties are/can be made available to close the deal. Each member of the team agrees to come up with one perfect seller encompassing all Prevco has specified. While it's being collected, this information is not made public, and the group only has 3 weeks to get the whole project wrapped. Whatever money or power the group needs to achieve this goal, Prevco is prepared to provide it from greasing a few palms to speed the process to outright bribery. At this stage, the important points are that the sellers remain ignorant of each other, and the 3 week time limit remains top priority. Jonah's team believes they've covered all that; they just need approval going forward with the right seller.

Meanwhile, off the radar, an event occurs which puts Jonah in a bad spot. His attention is diverted momentarily from the Commercial Real Estate Deal as facts surrounding the event come to light. This is where the "Aha!" feeling starts to grow. There's more to this than we originally thought. Much more. This is also a good place to sit back and enjoy the ride because I don't think anyone could unravel this mystery before the author is ready to give it up. There is one surprise after another from here until the end of the book. This is the spot at which if anyone interrupts your reading, the snarl reflex is all they're getting, so stand back and interrupt at your own peril!

For me, **The Deal** had everything I look for in entertaining fiction. It has a subject that is interesting enough to want to know more about how it all functions keeping buyers and sellers content with the deal they made. It has all kinds of complex characters that add layers to the story exactly because they are so varied. It's about loyalty stretched to its limits. It's also about how precariously positioned people at the very top of their profession can still be, and how far more vulnerable to sources outside their control than they ever imagined.

I received a free ARC from Net Galley in exchange for which I agreed to give an honest review. Honestly? I wish I could give this excellent book a 10* rating. Is it March 4 yet.....?

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