Plot: In this tense and exceptionally well-developed international thriller, the author effectively embroils a young lawyer in an investigation into Hitler’s association with Wall Street following the sudden death of her grandfather.
Prose: The narrative clearly establishes the complex circumstances while demonstrating a near seamless balance of exposition, dialogue, and evocative description.
Originality: Mclnerny’s unique novel rivetingly blends world and economic history with a globe-spanning adventure.
Character Development: Kenna Rand is a dynamic, fiercely intelligent character thrown into perilous circumstances and facing villainous characters both veiled and overt. The author’s knowledge of the factual events behind the story is made abundantly clear through her capable heroine and the unexpected events that unfold.
Date Submitted: August 27, 2020
In McInerny's bold, historical thriller, the year is 1994 and young lawyer Kenna Rand is plunged into a web of international mystery and deceit when she takes over efforts from her late grandfather to redeem a portfolio of bonds worth billions of dollars issued during Hitler’s rise to power. This wholly original idea -- which explores Wall Street’s role in financing Germany's war on Europe -- is propelled by a taut narrative of narrow escapes, unexpected bloodshed, and historical insight. The story however is marred by formal dialogue and an unsympathetic main character.
Date Submitted: August 10, 2016
BOND HUNTER Kia McInerny Size Four Publishing (408 pp.) $14.95 paperback, $7.12 e-book ISBN: 978-0-9847294-1-8; January 18, 2016
BOOK REVIEW Debut author McInerny follows a young lawyer who’s up against the deadly forces of the international banking system in this financial thriller. It’s 1994, and when Kenna Rand’s law-partner grandfather dies suddenly in Central Park, it’s assumed that he suffered a heart attack. However, Kenna suspects foul play. At the wake, she’s approached by Michael Fein, a lawyer representing an American Jewish organization in possession of Weimar government bonds, now worth hundreds of millions of dollars—if the German government decides to recognize them. Kenna’s grandfather was about to represent Fein’s organization at the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland, so Fein asks Kenna, an expert in the arcane field of pre–World War II gold bonds, to take his place. She’s attracted to the idea of finishing the work, although she has an incomplete notion of the risk involved. If Germany makes good, it would deplete their reserves and destabilize the nascent, fragile European Union. Additionally, the bonds represent an embarrassing complicity between the U.S. government, American firms, and Hitler’s Germany—one that many would prefer to keep concealed. Thus Kenna confronts a number of adversaries, including a murderous former U.S. secretary of state, a CIA man with a tendency to go rogue, and an avaricious countess out to seize what she wants at any cost. McInerny’s prose is sharp and stylish; for example, a railway station is said to dominate Zurich’s banking district “like a dowager-queen among courtiers”; the aforementioned countess is described as wearing “elaborate makeup and hair piled up on her head like a concoction of marzipan.” The book’s interest in the minutiae of bonds and settlements lends it an unusual verisimilitude that balances out the more cloak-and-dagger aspects of the plot. Overall, McInerny works comfortably within the genre rather than reinventing it, but fans of thrillers should enjoy this complex, historically based story of restitution, revenge, and redemption. An intricate, compelling tale with a financial backdrop.