Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Calculated Risk by Katherine Neville

It's Katherine Neville week here on the blog! As I mentioned yesterday, Open Road Media has just released three of Neville's titles in ebook and I'm super stoked. Up today, A Calculated Risk, Neville's second release, which hit shelves in 1992.

Verity Banks knows security is a weak point at many major banks, including her own. But when her proposal to beef up said security is shot down and her prospects of moving on to a lucrative position at the Fed with it, she's more than just disappointed. So Verity comes up with a plan. A plan that will prove just how right she was. A plan to steal a billion dollars right under the nose of her employer. 

So I didn't realize that Katherine Neville was writing at least in part from her own experience. According to her bio, back in the '70s she was a consultant for OPEC in Algeria (just like Cat), she worked as a painter, model, and photographer, she also worked for the Department of Energy, which apparently plays a part in tomorrow's book, The Magic Circle, and - as is the case with our heroine today - Neville worked as a high-ranking executive at a major bank in San Francisco.

Considering all of that, it should come as no surprise that someone so accomplished would pen such clever novels!

A Calculated Risk is a bank heist book where the heist is done completely via computers. It's not quite as exciting of a read as The Eight and I think that's in part because I got lost a little in the banking plot itself. I also can't really attest to how well it's aged because I wouldn't know much of a difference (until we start talking about internet and iPhones and such) between how things were done in 1992 and how they're done now.

I can say that the story comes across as highly believable and quite entertaining. I like seeing a character like Verity pull one over on the big boys! One thing that should be dated but sadly is still seen more than it should be today are the attitudes and views towards women in the workplace in general and especially in a position like Verity's. Part of the reason she's able to do what she does is because she's brilliant but another part of the reason she's able to do it is because no one believes a woman can.

Rating: 4/5

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