The Manhattan Swindle
Jay Perin’s One Hundred Years of War series began in explosive fashion with The Maltese Attack, which explored the rabid corruption that permeated the oil industry and affiliated politics during the 1970s. It introduced three wealthy oil dynasties—the Kingsleys, the Sheppards, and the Barronses—the members of which are bound together as much by their secrets as by their pervasive rivalry, and a politician, Senator Temple, who sought to exploit their influence in order to bring down his greatest foe, ruthless oilman Jared Sanders.
Now, in The Manhattan Swindle, Perin moves the action and feuds on into the late 1970s and early 1980s, where the glitz and glamour of the oil industry belie the danger, exploitation, and media intrusion that key industry participants face. Temple continues to move the other characters around the world like pieces on a chessboard as he pursues his vendetta against Sanders, who is inching ever closer to the White House, despite his criminality being well known in the corridors of power. Temple has a plan to unite the three dynasties through a strategic marriage—which he intends to take place whether or not the two parties involved actually wish to be married—and then use their combined influence and resources to topple Sanders.
As for Harry Sheppard and Lilah Sheppard Barrons, they are slowly recovering from the trauma of being kidnapped and held hostage by Sanders’ thugs during the first book, although fate and its minions seem to be conspiring to keep them apart. Harry has joined the Navy SEALs and, when not training, is being dispatched to various foreign locales to assist the CIA with covert missions. Lilah has enrolled at MIT and is focused on supporting herself while excelling in her studies, although she is concerned by the lack of communication from Harry. Meanwhile, Dan Sheppard Barrons, Lilah’s twin brother, is attending West Point and being groomed to take over the Barrons empire. As they all seek to make their way in the world, they little realize that they are simply pawns being maneuvered to further the interests of the powerful.
The Manhattan Swindle is an action-packed, globe-trotting thriller that explores the depths to which people will sink in pursuit of power and wealth. The two characters, who serve as the opposing chess players in the game that will decide the fate of nations, Senator Temple and Jared Sanders, are both Machiavellian strategists who care little for the lives of others. Even Temple, who is positioned on the side of “good” when compared with the criminal Sanders, is playing a long game in which he is willing to sacrifice as many people as necessary to achieve his aims. With so many devious characters involved, it’s little wonder there are crosses and double-crosses to be found throughout the story.
Perin drops readers straight into the action and intrigue and, while some explanation of the events of the first book is provided, the story may well prove confusing for those who haven’t read The Maltese Attack. Even with that grounding, it can prove tricky to keep track of the various characters, familial relationships, and timelines involved in the story. Despite this, The Manhattan Swindle is a pretty exciting tale of political intrigue and stock market chicanery, and it’ll be interesting to see what Perin has in store for readers in the next book, The Cuban Gambit.
|Page Count||545 pages|
|Publisher||East River Books|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|