Book Review: The Fund

By H.T. Narea

Reviewed by Christopher Zoukis

Narea stumbles a bit with his first international thriller.     

Kate Molares is a financial sleuth with the Defense Intelligence Agency.  Her job is to follow the money back to the bad guys.   When a terrorist bombing occurs in Madrid, Spain, Molares intuitively begins connecting the dots between Al-Qaeda, Basque insurrectionists, and Venezuela.  The connection is handsome Middle Eastern hedge fund manager, Nebibi Hasehm, whose nickname is the Jackal.  As Molares attempts to figure out what’s going on, she renews her former too-coincidental relationship with Nebibi, whom she suspects is more than he appears.  The various threads of the plot unravel when the author inserts a subplot about an experimental serum that causes cats to chase dogs.  This subplot is too farfetched and refuses to meld into the rest of the story. 

Money, banking, greed, and derivatives swirl at the center of the novel.  Yet in the end, terrorists and nuclear bombs provide the only real driving tension.  For the most part, Narea keeps the action moving along.  Yet the action stumbles as the author utilizes his characters’ dialogue to explain the story.  Then, at the height of the tale’s tension, Nebibi all but evaporates, leaving the reader perplexed and confused.  With the central bad guy gone, the tension deflates.  The author tries in vain to tie up all the loose ends, but fails because he switches from showing the reader what’s happening to telling the reader what took place.  Any punch the novel might have had goes flaccid

A potentially interesting read that needs a tighter plot and more conflict.