Book review: Just Business by Geraint Anderson
City slicker Steve Jones has been followed halfway round the world by two men whose sole mission is to kill him.
So how did a smooth-talking, quick-thinking chancer end up on a beach in Goa with two Colombian assassins in hot pursuit?
It all started before he left the City in late 2007 after an insane moment of greed set in motion a series of events that means he can never feel safe again.
Not only that, he has endangered his life and the lives of those he loves for the sake of a quick buck in a sick financial world where things have so spiralled out of control that the lunatics really have taken over the asylum.
‘Reformed banker’ Geraint Anderson famously broke the Square Mile’s code of silence with his explosive book Cityboy, a warts-and-all account of life in London’s financial heartland, and now he returns with his loveable rogue Steve Jones.
A no-holds-barred, edge-of-the seat thriller, Just Business again puts a hard-hitting and very revealing spotlight on City bankers before their bubble of corruption, scams and outrageous bad behaviour burst upon a shocked and unforgiving public.
And the story is not for prudes and faint hearts...the banter is brutish, the imagery is smutty and the antics are laddish but Anderson does get to the heart of the greed, the egotism and the recklessness that led to financial disaster.
There are also some wonderful moments of high comedy, a flashy and fluent dialogue, stacks of coruscating one-liners and a plot that is as entertaining as it is unashamedly far-fetched.
We first meet Steve as he’s fleeing those two ruthless killers on Anjuna beach, an adventure which began a year earlier when he finally decided he wanted out.
He was looking to cash-in before the soul-stripping toil of coining it in London’s financial heartland turned into a life sentence.
All he needed was a handsome seven-figure wedge in the bank and it would be the good life for him and goodbye to the horrors of the Square Mile.
Suddenly he saw the perfect opportunity but as he hacked into his boss’s computer, he found something that chilled him to the bone.
This was big time – bad men were involved and millions of pounds were at stake – so no change there then. But when he stumbled upon a murder and became the prime suspect, he had to go on the run.
Since then, along with his girlfriend Gemma, he has improvised ingenious ways of outwitting the authorities, a vicious drug cartel and even MI5, but staying alive just got harder.
Superb summer reading with the added ‘bonus’ of plenty of banker bashing!
(Headline, paperback, £12.99)