The Dead Bank Diary
It is 1998 in Moscow, and a bank defaults on its debt. Anna, a bank trader, is now out of work until she is asked to “help redeem the debts of the bank.” Anna’s lifestyle quickly morphs into that of a con artist and a hustler as she wheels and deals, especially when a 1934 million-dollar bond enters the picture. Anna’s motley-crew associate, Peter, wants to take over a bank with debts—a dead bank—and the duo work up a deal with Victor, a retired intelligence officer with a Swiss deposit for a million dollars. A new bank board needs to be established, but Anna’s plans to “wrestle away” the present chairman are not as easy as she thinks.
The first book of the Dead Bank Diary series, Anna Schlegel’s financial thriller captures the criminal world during the Russian Financial Crisis. As she aptly states, “this novel is not based on real events, but you will feel the reality in every word.” Aside from the fictional plot, Schlegel interestingly places herself as the featured character, thereby adding shadiness to the scandalous setting. Undergirding her first person narrative with a paradoxical theme, Schlegel introduces a woman whose hardened appearance is quite often a facade to her personal struggles.
Schlegel surrounds her lead character with a colorful foiled cast designed to force Anna to reflect on her life. Amid Anna’s many suspicious connections, Schlegel portrays a woman who is caught in a vicious, codependent cycle driven by a love for money. As a result, Anna is constantly riddled with conflicting dreams while hoping for a better life. Schlegel does not mince words in her writing style, as she incorporates all of the above-mentioned literary elements. Of course, a Russian setting wouldn’t be complete without Anna’s hardboiled Russian accent.
Dead Bank Diary is an engaging read, as well as a unique addition for thriller aficionados. Follow the story with books two and three of the series—For Those in the Shade and The Prints on the Snows of Yesteryear! Book four, Sail Off as a Scoundrel, coming soon.
|Schlegel Press Association
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|Mystery, Crime, Thriller