Thursday, 17 March 2011

A Calculated Risk

I didn't even know this book existed, until a friend of mine told me she had read the Greek translation of it! So I rushed to the bookshop, looked for it, found it and bought it. Time for the review!!

A Calculated Risk by Katherine Neville
First published by Ballantine Books in 1992 (this edition by Ballantine Books sometime after 1998 - can't find the date in the book)

Description: (from
When financial executive Verity Banks' latest proposal is axed by her boss, she decides to show how easy it is to break through automated security, hide money, and then show senior management where it is. Then her former mentor, financial wizard, Dr. Zoltan Tor ups the ante, and dares her to steal a billion dollars, invest it to earn thirty million in three months, then put the original billion back before anyone notices. To heighten the challenge, Tor and Verity will compete against each other, though Tor gives Verity an edge: she can use a computer for her theft, but he cannot....

This being my fourth Katherine Neville novel, I have to say I love her! The first book of hers I read was The Eight, even though I had actually bought The Fire first. I was quite frustrated at the time for not being able to read my new book. Plus, I ordered The Eight and it took more than a month to arrive!! (Preposterous!)

This book had quite a lot to do with computers, hacking and banks. Computers as a theme, I don't mind, but I find banks absolutely boring. So, in this case, I was pleasantly surprised by the novel. The banks were there (they were necessary to the whole plot), but Neville does not ramble on and on about the bureaucracy that rules them. It is necessary to state some obvious facts, which are what leads up to the main part of the book, but it's doesn't get tiring.

I love the relationship between Tor and Verity! Verity has spunk, but she tends to keep it in check. Enter Tor, and all rational thinking has gone out the window! He ''makes'' her do things she would never normally dream of doing. Fair enough, Verity was so fed up with the system that she decided to break through the security system, take some money and hide it away. But Tor is not satisfied. He says that if Verity is planning on doing it anyway, why not try and get some money out of it?? And, on second thought, why not make it into a challenge between them??

In some ways, Katherine Neville reminds me of Dan Brown. The topics they choose to write on have some important similarities. But her style of writing is completely and utterly different to Dan Brown's. I find that when I am reading a Dan Brown novel, I can guess what is going to happen next, just because of the fact that he writes his books in the exact same way (that does not mean that I don't enjoy them). I don't get that with Neville (which is a relief!) I'm definitely looking forward to reading more books from her in the future!

Back to the book, I enjoyed this one very much (as I do with many ''logic - maths - computers'' novels) and I would definitely recommend reading it! This one is quite different to her other three!

Rating: 8/10

Katherine Neville is an American author, who writes adventure novels. After finishing college, she moved to NYC and pursued a career in the computer field (hence the knowledge to write this particular book, I assume). In the 1970's she worked as an international consultant for the Algerian government (which probably explains The Eight and The Fire, too). In the 1980's she moved to San Francisco, and eventually became the vice president of the Bank of America (Wow, that is impressive!). She currently lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, the renowned neurosurgeon Karl H. Pribram.
Katherine Neville has written another three books (other that A Calculated Risk):

The Eight (Goodreads |
The Fire (Goodreads |
The Magic Circle  (Goodreads |
(All images are from Goodreads)
I would definitely recommend reading her books, if you haven't!
You can check these out, if you are interested!
Katherine Neville Official Website
Katherine Neville on Wikipedia
Katherine Neville on
Katherine Neville on

Counts as Book #18 in my 100 Books In A Year Challenge!

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read a book by Katherine Neville yet. A Calculated Risk seems like an exciting read!


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