Swimming With Sharks
Author: Nele Neuhaus
Translated from German by Christine M. Grimm
Amazon Crossing, 2013
Hello. I'm back! It's true that I've been absent since April . . . did you miss me? Thank you for your patience. :)
I'm not quite sure how I first heard about German author Nele Neuhaus, but at the time her books hadn't been translated to English yet. Over the course of a couple of years I kept checking Amazon to see if translations were available, and one day I found not just one but two books! I bought them both!
This fast-paced thriller takes place in New York, where main character Alex Sondheim (a native of Germany) has just taken a new job with an investment firm. Alex is a rock star in her field and is maybe just a little too proud of her accomplishments, and she's definitely drawn to power. Perhaps that why she begins an affair with billionaire Sergio, who is rumored to be a mobster. But when she overhears a conversation between Sergio and one of the many shady-looking characters who always seem to be nearby, Alex sees the light.
Meanwhile, Mayor Nick Kostidis -- a former prosecutor -- has spent his career fighting corruption, and Sergio is enemy #1. Yet somehow, every time Nick thinks he's got something on Sergio, witnesses mysteriously disappear or change their stories. But if he plays his cards right, he may get Alex to fight for his side . . .
There were times I didn't like Alex at all and found myself getting very frustrated with her reasoning re: Sergio. I mean, seriously? She's so brilliant and successful, yet she allows herself to be controlled like that? Her relationship with Nick was a bit too predictable. But I can forgive all that because when it comes down to it, this was a fast read for 550+ pages and I didn't want to put it down.
I paid US$3.99 for the Kindle version of this book -- I just checked and the price is still the same. So if you hadn't previously heard of Nele Neuhaus, this would be a good introduction to her work. Otherwise, definitely look for Snow White Must Die or Bad Wolf (the latter will be available in the USA in January 2014), part of her series (huge sellers in Germany) featuring two police detectives.