Other People’s Money
What a delightfully satirical read this is. Justin Cartwright has gathered together a fantastic cast of characters for this novel set within the aristocratic, family-owned bank of Tubal & Co – one of London’s oldest and most respected financial institutions. The novel is set just post “the global financial crisis” of 2008, and Julian Trevelyan-Tubal has taken the chairmanship of the bank from his father Harry following Harry’s stroke. The 340 year old bank is in real trouble; Julian failed to heed his father’s fiscal advice of ‘caution’, and has led the bank into hedge fund oblivion. Now, as he scrambles to sell the bank, he must shore up confidence (and balance the books) by diverting millions from the family trust.
As elderly Harry is slowly fading, Estelle, his former PA and now principal carer manages his estate and correspondence. His current wife, the much younger Fleur, is confused and frightened by Harry’s frailty and finds solace in the arms of her personal trainer. Julian is working hard to conceal all transactions from the family, particularly his devoted wife Kim; and now Fleur’s former husband, Artair MacCleod materialises to add another dimension to the threatening exposure of the bank.
Cartwright has managed to create characters of real depth – likeable and amusing. His real skill is the dialogue, full of authentic wit and bite. This really is a splendid read; intelligent in the portrayal of the financial world, gentle and sympathetic in the handling of the players, and best of all, a book that really will let you laugh out loud right