Plot: Vanquish of the Dragon Shroud starts off at a rigorous pace and continues to prove fast-moving as the plot progresses; the constant usage of foreshadowing keeps the tension levels high and will have readers guessing all the way to the satisfying ending.
Prose: Seller's narrative voice is strong and confident, carrying a story about crime, action, and deceit well. The contemporary tone and diction make this novel appealing to a wide range of readers.
Originality: Seller's book provides excellent twists on a seemingly-typical financial thriller, even implementing unique international players in the mystery at hand.
Character Development: The characters are well fleshed out; readers are even provided a substantial idea of who Maxine's husband truly is. The secondary characters are almost as clearly defined as the protagonists.
Blurb: This suspenseful thriller has it all: misdirection, kidnapping, murder, international intrigue, and a driving force of money, money, money.
Date Submitted: August 15, 2018
“This novel is the financial-world equivalent of a John Grisham novel.” – Elspeth Senz, Book Reviewer.
Title: Vanquish of the Dragon Shroud: Murder, Intrigue, and the Hidden Wealth of the Red Nobility
Author: Gregory E. Seller
Reviewed by: Anita Lock
Rating: 5 Star Rating
A celebratory evening suddenly goes amiss when an explosion occurs on a yacht. Six out of eight passengers are accounted for while one dead body is located and another is missing. Ethan Chandler—owner of the yacht—deduces the absentees to be Logan Aronheart, his hedge fund partner, and Maxine (Max), Logan's wife. Shortly afterwards, Ethan and his wife Jackie receive news that Max is alive, which is a mystery considering that Max's husband deliberately threw her off the yacht. When people start disappearing, mystery quickly unfolds into mayhem, especially when the firm's biggest client is involved with the Chinese Communist Party.
Gregory E. Seller crafts an edgy page-turning plot in his debut thriller Vanquish of the Dragon Shroud. Seller weaves suspicion and suspense from the get-go into his third person narrative. Inspired by "current events in the world of investment and politics," Seller sets the mood of the investor domain by opening with a posh yacht party. Yet when it suddenly turns into an unexpected disaster, Seller takes advantage of this scene to begin twisting his plot with a series of confusing clues. Although many in Seller's cast are affluent, the unsettling maritime incident throws them into a tizzy. They find themselves in survival mode since someone out there wants them dead. Seller surrounds his well-defined and complex cast with a wide variety of foils that range from local police and FBI to ruthless Chinese agents.
Reminiscent of Hitchcock thrillers that always reflect historical and political themes of times, Seller zeroes in on the world of money laundering and the covert operations between countries—and in this case, between China and the United States. While an unnerving reminder that "business and politics trump ethics...and the law," Seller's storyline—which is aptly lacing his narrative with the behind-the-scene workings in the investment realm—is nonetheless gripping. Key to Seller's plot is dialogue and the way he employs this literary tool to create character interactions and develop relationships— another driving force used in Hitchcock thrillers. Seller's use of dialogue creates a constant ebb and flow (tension and ease) throughout his narrative.
Besides his excellent use of dialogue, Seller also keeps his plot moving by incorporating other literary elements that include alternating between unanticipated and often time juxtaposed character scenes, backstories, cliffhanging chapters, and ticking clock scenarios that lead to a surprise ending. In closing, Seller says it best in describing his storyline: "You don't have to be an investment expert to become fascinated about a story in which the investment business becomes a conduit for hiding illicit assets of foreign governments in the United States. It is a lucrative business from a financial standpoint, but one that can become dangerous when secret ownership, and olitical alliances begin to unravel." Indeed, a fascinating read with wide audience appeal
Anyone who loves thrillers, the financial underground, or solving intricate mysteries will want to snag a copy of Vanquish of the Dragon Shroud. Readers will not be satisfied until they know the whole story, and this book does not disappoint. - US Book Views, 5 Stars
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