Author: Cristina Alger
Published: February 16, 2012
Genre: contemporary fiction
Hardcover: 352 pages
Source: borrowed from the library
My Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis (from GoodReads): Now that he's married to Merrill Darling, daughter of billionaire financier Carter Darling, attorney Paul Ross has grown accustomed to New York society and all of its luxuries: a Park Avenue apartment, weekends in the Hamptons, bespoke suits. When Paul loses his job, Carter offers him the chance to head the legal team at his hedge fund. Thrilled with his good fortune in the midst of the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression, Paul accepts the position. But Paul's luck is about to shift: a tragic event catapults the Darling family into the media spotlight, a regulatory investigation, and a red-hot scandal with enormous implications for everyone involved. Suddenly, Paul must decide where his loyalties lie-will he save himself while betraying his wife and in-laws or protect the family business at all costs? Cristina Alger's glittering debut novel interweaves the narratives of the Darling family, two eager SEC attorneys, and a team of journalists all racing to uncover-or cover up-the truth. With echoes of a fictional Too Big to Fail and the novels of Dominick Dunne, The Darlings offers an irresistible glimpse into the highest echelons of New York society-a world seldom seen by outsiders-and a fast-paced thriller of epic proportions.
My Thoughts: I picked up this book for one main reason: the cover. I know, I know, how vain am I? Seriously though, that black and white shot taken in Central Park had me swooning. And I've always wondered about the people who are lucky enough to live in those apartments overlooking the park. So, once I read the description of this book, I thought, "How perfect that I found this book!" It would give me an idea of what these people's lives are, how they live and have little idea of what it's like for those of us who are impacted by their greed. Cristina Alger is a lawyer who worked in New York City and lived through the turmoil that marked the downfall of the financial industry in 2008. She writes this novel as someone who knows how it all happened, and that definitely comes across in her writing.
This story is told by different characters, with each character getting a chapter to tell us what is going on at that point. Each chapter is a specific date and time, so it might be Paul telling you about how it is the morning after the incident, and then Merill, his wife, telling you how she feels about it a few hours later. It created a rich story when you had so many people contributing their voices to this tale, because circumstances like these had so many people involved. The only characters that I didn't care for were those from the SEC, but I think that their chapters just weren't developed enough. Their stories had to be told, since they are supposed to be investigating this fraud, but they just weren't developed enough.
I found this book to be very interesting. The financial crisis of 2008 was an awful time in our country and this fictional story reads like something that actually happened. Alger is a gifted writer and hopefully, she continues in this vein of stories in the future.