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The Millionaires
By Brad Meltzer

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The Millionaires

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The Millionaires
Large Print Edition
By Brad Meltzer
Warner Books - Large Print, (2002)
ISBN: 0-446-52995-8
Genre: Thriller

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - March 3, 2002

Charlie and Oliver Caruso are two brothers that work for the private bank, Greene and Greene. Unlike most banks, you cannot walk in and simply open an account. Rather, in standing with the exclusive nature of Greene and Greene, you can only become a client of the bank if you are invited to open account. One requirement that you must meet to become a client is that you must be willing, and able, to deposit at least two million dollars into your new account. Although they work with high rolling money merchants, Charlie and Oliver are not rich - but they do have a lot of expenses.

When they discover an abandoned bank account, Charlie and Oliver set out to steal the three million dollars contained therein. After all, they surmise, they'll never get caught. As events transpire, stealing the money turns out to be fairly easy - it is staying alive afterwards that proves tricky. In this fast-pace thriller, Brad Meltzer takes the reader on a hair-raising ride through the world of high finance. Meltzer is not easy on the brothers, and everything starts to go wrong for them from the moment they steal the money. Worse, they find that everyone seems bent upon killing them, including the Secret Service. Along the way, the brothers meet Gillian, the daughter of Marty Duckworth who was the owner of the account they robbed. Their association with Gillian only deepens the mystery surrounding the question, "Why does everyone want the brothers dead?"

This is a fast paced novel, and it is an excellent book if you are looking for some light reading. You will be disappointed, however, if you are looking for a book with a complicate plot. Furthermore, this is a book without a hero, unless of course, you agree with Charlie and Oliver that it is ok to steal if you think that you 'really' need it, and, of course, if you don't think that you'll get caught.

The Millionaires is written in a clipped style reminiscent of a rushed telephone conversation. While this style helps to keep up the breakneck pace of the story, it is not fun to read as complete sentences are few and far between. This clipped style extends to the deceptive elements of the story, creating a rather barren atmosphere. There is a saying that writers' are artists and that they paint their pictures in words. In this case, Meltzer chose merely do a rough sketch using only the stark shades of black and white. Written almost entirely in dialog, The Millionaires reads more like a movie script, rather than a book. While I imagine that it will make a perfectly wonderful movie, as a book, however, it leaves much to be desired. Personally, I prefer stories that are a bit more picturesque.

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