Jay Connor's Reviews > Heaven's Fury

Heaven's Fury by Stephen W. Frey
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Sep 10, 2011

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Read in September, 2011

Stephen Frey has written 17 novels. The vast majority employed his M&A and private equity background in a well-honed manner making him one of the best authors of financial intrigue.

I find it odd that just at the time when "financial intrigue" is the cornerstone of many front page headlines, Frey has taken a hiatus from the ruthless markets to go to the backwoods. His two recent heaven and hell books ("Heaven's Fury," here, and "Hell's Gate," reviewed last year) are interesting, second-tier, suspense novels. They empower the elements -- fire and snow -- to become central characters. His flesh and blood characters are well drawn, but one is still confronted with an author out of his element. Like when the Roman Catholic priest/author, Andrew Greeley, moved from fictionalizing institutional decadence to romantic relationships. He could describe the later but clearly had no life experience upon which to draw. The same is true of a rural Stephen Frey.

Greeley moved his lens from the Church at the height of the child predator scandal and Frey abandoned his economic harpoon at the height of the Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs mortgage security implosion. Curious. Does reality's evil outstrip the gears of a creative mind? Or is it impossible to caricature an institution that you can no longer stomach?

I asked similar questions earlier this summer about Joseph Finder's "Buried Secrets." Finder was his strongest when writing of corporate espionage. Why abandon your life experience to produce something that could be churned out by any number of mid-list authors?

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