This Bleeding City by Alex Preston; Where the Serpent Lives by Ruth Padel; The Temple-goers by Aatish Taseer; Catch by Simon Robson - review by Lindy Burleigh

Lindy Burleigh

Lindy Burleigh on a covey of first novels

  • Alex Preston, 
  • Ruth Padel, 
  • Aatish Taseer, 
  • Simon Robson

Former bond trader Alex Preston’s quietly ambitious debut, This Bleeding City, tackles the recent financial crisis from an insider’s perspective. His novel follows the fortunes of a group of university friends who are lured into working in the City by the big bonuses on offer. Like his narrator Charlie Wales (a nod to Scott Fitzgerald, that great chronicler of boom and bust), a trader in a Mayfair hedge fund, Preston was at the heart of it all when the markets crashed.

For those of us who don’t know our derivatives from our sub-primes, Preston’s rendering of the arcane world of high finance makes gripping reading, and affords disturbing insights into the way in which the market is driven by greed, ego and an excess of adrenalin; ultimately it’s ‘just

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