The Darlings by Cristina Alger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This really Bonfire of the Vanities 2.0: a Madoff-esque Ponzi scheme married to insider trading, bribery at the SEC, the lives of the incredibly rich and a Samuel Isreal-like figure. Even the name of the family at the heart of the book, Darling, reminds one of the tv series "Dirty Sexy Money" (there's another character whose first name is Tripp. sigh).
So, timely. And at times well-written but other times description and detail get in the way of the plot. It's also interesting to hear certain names, places and brands trip off the author's pen, making those she glides over more obvious. The characters are pretty detailed, with few exceptions most are complex in ways that make them feel like real people, not made-up characters (although at times all of them rotate through the "hmm... this person must be here in the role of [stereotype]").
Overall, though, this is one of those books that encapsulates an era and will rapidly read as dated. That's not necessarily a bad thing (see Wolfe's Bonfire as a good example).
>ARC provided by publishers.