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3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
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on March 17, 2004
This is my first Metzer novel. I listened to the unabridged version. The narrator was great.
The first section of the book caught my attention. The initial setup and reasoning was first rate.
The first serious flaw came when the brothers instead of getting out of the country and enjoy the immense wealth are determined to find out more about the account they stole from. WHY!!!!
The book became very bogged down about a third of the way through it. The storyline became totally unbelievable.
The Secret Service is made to look like rank amateurs. The love interest in the story was telegraphed so far in advance a first grader could figure out that she was part of the initial group stealing the money.
Two timid brothers have as much chance of pulling off this caper as someone winning the lottery on the first ticket purchased.
Metzer continues the hyper writing to the end. In the process, he rips off at least three movies that had Disney as the scene of the climax.
The ending of the story is very unsatisfactory. Don't waste your time with this book.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon March 8, 2004
"The Millionaires," Meltzer's fourth thriller takes us into the rarefied world of million dollar banking, cyber pyrotechnics, and then to of all places Disney World. It's a fast paced romp that will please this imaginative writer's fans.
Oliver Caruso is in the employ of one of Manhattan's most upscale banks, Greene & Greene. The institution is so select that two million is needed just to achieve the status of client. Oliver's been toiling for Henry Lapidus, an exec at this financial palace. Regrettably, Lapidus doesn't appreciate Oliver's ministrations and is attempting to scuttle his minion's career plans. What's the poor guy to do? He enlists the aid of his younger brother, Charlie, who has problems staying gainfully employed. The pair decide to take three million dollars sitting in an abandoned account. They'll soon be living the life of Riley - if Riley had a seven figure deposit in an offshore bank, that is.
What a piece of a cake - with a very rich icing. They've found the perfect crime. Problem is, make that plural, problems are that somehow the original three million has undergone a cyberspace evolution and become $300 million. Not only that but some others at Greene & Greene had their own plans for the funds in this abandoned account, and someone is found dead.
Now the bros are really in hot water. The local authorities are after them as is the Secret Service. However, they do manage to get to Florida, attempting to follow the money to the daughter of the account's late owner. Said owner was a techno wiz for Disney, a mind boggling inventor. As amazing as the wiz's invention is, it's really nothing compared to what Oliver and Charlie eventually discover in this page-turner of a tale.
Those with an interest in high and low finance will find enjoyment aplenty in "The Millionaires." Meltzer fans will revel in their author's latest spin on boardroom crime.
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on February 25, 2004
Two brother, Oliver and Charlie Caruso attempt to pull off the perfect crime-- transfer funds in the private bank in which they are employed from an account of a dead man to an account they create that can't be traced. It may be a very cool three million dollars. However, after the transfer, they realize they are playing a game much larger than they originally thought including the amount they stand to gain if they could pull it off. However, fast on their heels are two violent secret service agents and a relentless female PI.
Brad Meltzer, after only a few novels, has already established himself as one of the best thriller novelists currently working. A characteristic of his work is the very long length of the narratives. It is almost as if he has to stretch the tale out as long as possible to bulk up the size of the book and the resultant sales. Characters are quite sympathetic yet surprisingly comic considering the far-reaching implications their actions have on their life and potential loss of freedom. There is little doubt that this novel's main purpose is to entertain and on that level it succeeds admirably.
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on February 11, 2004
This book is an excellent thriller that has you wondering what will happen next. Charlie and Oliver Caruso both work for an exclusive bank dealing with some of the world's richest clients. After giving four years of his life to the bank Oliver realises that he is being screwed. The brothers discover that someone has supplied a bogus identity for a dead man who has three million in his account and decide if someone is going to steal the money it might as well be them. Caught by the banks security guard they are forced to cut him in on the deal but shortly after the crime is even more of a success then they could have hoped, the Secret Service murders him in front of their eyes. They are lucky to escape themselves but now are on the run.
They cannot surrender to the cops as they will be handed over to the secret service who will no doubt kill them as they want the money for themselves. An excellent financial thriller. Ending isn't up to the standard of the rest of the book but still a good read. The best financial thriller in the literary world is The Money Makers by Harry Bingham. Check it out too.
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on January 21, 2004
This book starts out strong and engaging with a fast moving storyline but it quickly turns into a contrived work. The story centers around two brothers Charlie and Oliver who work at an upscale bank and decide to steel money from an abandoned account with the help of their friend Shep who is head of security. One problem, the government was monitoring the account. The G-men quickly unravel the crime and in the process kill Shep (they want the money too of course) So the two brothers run and carnage ensues.
The novel is a fast read despite its length but after the first hundred pages I felt as if I was reading the script to a TV movie of the week. The chapters are short and utilize these ridiculous cliffhanger endings. As the story develops the plot become increasingly silly (spoilers ahead skip to the last paragraph if you don't want to know how it end) involving a secret worm imbedded in Disney's website and the book climaxes at the Magic Kingdom. Of course what would the narrative be with out a love story, so one is thrown in. As implausible as it is Oliver manages to fall in love while he is running for his life. Finally the "twist" ending was especially corny as the two Brothers discover that their friend Shep is alive and Oliver's love interest is actually Shep's wife. Even more outlandish is the revelation that Shep and his wife are in on the plot to steel the money with the corrupt feds.
I picked up this book because I saw Meltzer on CNN with Lou Dobbs and I thought I was in for a first right financial thriller, I was sorely disappointed. I recommend any of John Grisham's earlier books (The Firm, The Pelican brief, The Client) instead of this one. Those novels were great stories that really kept you on the edge of your seat and felt plausible, this book was just one cheap thrill. Literary candy that makes you feel guilty for having consumed it.
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on November 11, 2003
The story was told from 3 separate perspectives, making it very choppy and interrupted. The writing was at a very basic level.
Also, the book had chapters about 3 pages long - 89 chapters in this puppy! Why? So the author could add in a ton of unnecessary, silly "Goosebumps-ish" (R.L. Stine) chapter endings... "He saw the gun lift up towards his brother Charlie. "No!" Oliver shouted just as he heard the gun go off."
Next chapter.
Puh lease. Of COURSE Charlie wasn't shot, this book has a happily ever after storybook ending. The story-line was also a bit unbelievable. As for the secret "invention," finding it on the disney web site in the manner they did, and the entire Secret Service involvement were all factors too extraordinary and improbable to be believed.
Unfortunately, this is the first book I've read by Meltzer, and I won't pick up another of his without a glowing recommendation from a reader whose tastes I share.
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on October 22, 2003
Having replaced Grisham with Meltzer as my favourite legal thriller writer after reading the Tenth Justice, I picked up The Millionaires the week it came out in Mass Market paperback, but haven't gotten around to reviewing it til now.
Brothers working at a snooty private investment bank fall into money when a deceased client's funds go through the system.
Honestly if you want more plot summary read the other reviews, or better yet read this gem of a book.
Meltzer's main talent in his prose is the fast paced plots true, yet he enhances this with gifting his main characters' with sardonic wit. This novel is no exception as the dark humour flows freely making it an even more enjoyable read as the novel becomes a game of cat and mouse as whose got da money????
Meltzer's writing hasn't waned and I enjoyed this almost as much as The First Counsel (personally I think that was his best offering). My one critique is some of the minor characters seemed a bit less three dimensional than in his other novels. His characterization is one of his main strengths and appeals for me so I feel this was a little flawed otherwise it would get five stars. However having said that if Amazon peruser's are looking for a fast fun read, better written than your average thriller as I said read this book!
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on July 17, 2003
This is fast paced, and easy to read. The story starts sharply and moves, keeping the pages turning as we follow the brothers in their perfect crime. However just as the perfect crime goes sour for them, so does the plot.
Once we get into the meat of the book, too many characters cause problems and the extra characters are predictable stock characters right out of central casting. We have a mixed ending. I give credit to the author for not making a happy ending, but it is also a bit maudlin and jarring in comparison to the rest of the book.
The positives are that it can be read quickly, it is fast-paced and readable and the beginning is dynamite. Soon though you'll get tired of the morass of the chase with the very bad evil secret service agents and the feisty private eye you know is going to side with the brothers. At this point only the fact it is very easy to read will keep you going as frankly the book goes on too long and the secret they find really doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense.
This was my first Meltzer book, I am unsure if I will pick up another.
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on May 21, 2003
The book the Millionaires by Brad Meltzer was an incredible book. The characterization was unbelievable, by the end of the book you felt like you were best friends with the main characters. I am not a huge fan of reading, but this book was my best experience with reading yet. I was so involved with the plot and emotionally attached to the characters that I seriously could not put the book down. Brad Meltzer has a great flow when he writes, it was such an easy read but the plot was so deep that it did not seem like it at all. It was a great book with twists and turns; it really played with your emotions. You cared about the characters so much that you actually wanted to be in the book to help them out. It has a great ending that ties up everything so there are no cliffhangers leaving you wanting to know more. I would highly recommend this book to anybody wanting a good read. I would not suggest children or older folks read it, it seems rather involved for people who are not up to date with technology. The whole book is a manhunt and the technology they use would probably be to advanced for kids and too complex for the elderly. I cannot even say enough good things about the book; you are just going to have to read. I give this book an easy five out of five; it is unreal.
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on April 14, 2003
I listened to the unabridged audio version of this book which was read by Scott Brick. While the book is fast-paced and keeps your interest up, the plot is extremely unrealistic and unlikely. In particular, as someone who has worked in finance, I found the banking scam extremely unbelievable. The details of the scam are glossed over in smoke-and-mirrors fashion. I found plenty to take the edge off my enjoyment (I can't say I totally hated it.) The violence was graphic and gratuitious. Other readers have noted the unlikely telepathy between the brothers. Why was the lady private eye constantly on the line reporting to her secretary, even in the middle of a risky break-in?? And the ending was most unsatisfying. To top it all off, I found the reader in the audio version irritating in the extreme with his overly dramatic style. If this was a first novel, I'd say it was a good start. Meltzer tells a story well but needs help with the dialogue. And he should do more research before coming up with something so thin on which to hang the entire plot. I have not read any other books by Meltzer but nonetheless am willing to give him another try.
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