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07 June 2013

Michael Pocalyko: The Navigator

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Complex Financial Thriller
Michael Pocalyko's first novel is a very complex financial thriller that moves from the horrors of Auschwitz to the ultimate Wall Street financial scheme that could change or shock the world.

"Dutch" Yeager was the son of a German migrant to the US and could speak perfect German. He spent WWII as a Navigator on a US bomber and was called in by the military as an interpreter when US troops entered Auschwitz. What he saw and what happened there changed his life and memories for ever. 

Fast forward to the present when Dutch's two sons are both working in the financial system just after the GFC. Rick Yaeger's business has been badly hit but Warren Hunter (who changed his last name to the English equivalent) never loses his confidence or wealth and calls  the GFC as the "Great Wallow" where Wall Street will rebound back to life. He plans the ultimate Wall Street dream, an international private equity partnership of trillions of dollars to set up Virosat and control the next version of the internet.

The success of the Virosat scheme could catapult Warren overnight to riches greater than Bill Gates, or create a greater financial calamity than the GFC. Warren needs to find billions of dollars equity himself and only he knows where this will come from. 

Rick becomes involved when a elderly woman asks for help in estate planning and without his knowledge leaves Rick all of her apparently small estate as well as a list of strange numbers that takes him back to the days of the Navigator and his successful post-war career as a tax fraud investigator.

The financial arrangements are extremely complex and the plot even more so. Funds from a Jewish bank in Berlin disappear during the calamity of war. Someone hires an ex Hugarian/Stasi agent to leave a trail of death and terror around people connected with Virosat and the the lost Jewish funds. A senior US Senator (whose main legal assistant is incidentally Rick's ex-wife) becomes interested in the enormity of the Virosat project and its lack of government regulation. 

This is a very ambitious first novel by Michael Pocalyko. The financial scheme was a bit over the top and overly complex and unrealistic and I got lost in some of the sub-plots that that were left up in the air and never clearly resolved.. Nevertheless, overall I enjoyed the book so gave it a 4 star rating.

I received a free copy of this book asking for an honest review.

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