Books : reviews

John McLaren.
Press Send.
Pocket. 1997

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 18 November 2002

Hilton Kask's start-up company is looking for investment to launch its breakthrough Artificial Intelligence. A local Venture Capital company is ready to grant $8M, when some mysterious other company makes a much better offer. But things go wrong, and both sets of funding evaporate, leaving his company on the verge of bankruptcy. Just when Hilton thinks things can't get worse, he learns he has terminal cancer. But once he's dead, he finds things suddenly get a lot more interesting...

The first half of the book is a fun romp through corporate finance, and the second is an unlikely but fun revenge-and-power fantasy. (I especially liked the scene with the bikers' comeuppance.) The corporate finance details ring more true than the AI, maybe because McLaren is an investment banker (or maybe because I know less about corporate finance than I do about AI.) Nothing deep, several loose ends (who was that mysterious company?) and a slightly unsatisfactory ending, but a pleasant way to pass an hour or so.