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The Darlings

The Darlings - Cristina Alger The Darlings sees high flying family the Darlings - who also happen to be the 'darlings' of the financial industry - go from riches to... well, not exactly rags but perhaps a few less luxury holidays and world class restaurants. Paul Ross seems a decent enough guy, who didn't try to game the financial system too much - unless you count turning a blind eye to the practices of others. Still, there's a big difference between seeing and doing and Paul has managed to make a new life for himself working for his wife's father.

When a family suicide throws both the family and the company into turmoil, Paul knows he's not going to get away with see-no-evil, hear-no-evil this time around and has to make some very difficult decisions about family, loyalty and integrity.

I did enjoy The Darlings. Paul certainly seemed the most down-to-earth of the characters, slightly out of his depth in a world of wealth and schmoozing. Many of the remaining characters seemed frustrating vacuous, which I'm sure was deliberate. It certainly meant it made more of an impact when they did feel something.

My biggest issue with The Darlings was the ending. It felt laboured and drawn out. There was a twist, but I had seen it coming. That possibly added to my sense that it was just words filling space for a few of the later pages. Disappointingly, the drama and edginess built up throughout the novel, dribbled away as the hand was slightly overplayed.

That said, I would still recommend this book. Entertaining and well-paced throughout the majority of the book, Alger weaves a good story of high society fallen low and the impact a culture of greed has. Alger is certainly one to watch.