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The Day Trader

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  961 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
-The New York Times

Augustus McKnight senses his dead-end life is about to change when he makes a shrewd online investment and earns an impressive windfall. But before he can tell his wife about his success, she reveals an adulterous affair and demands a divorce. A day later, she is found brutally murdered- leaving Au
Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by Ballantine Books (first published February 1st 2000)
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Rating details
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Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
The Day Trader (Pub. 2002) is one of the best books I've read in the past six months--it definitely makes my top three. This is Stephen Frey's seventh novel, and from checking out his website he's written a total of nineteen published novels to-date. I really loved this story (my first read of this author's works)--for several reasons, and will be checking out his other books ASAP!

Day Trader is a combination finance thriller/who-done-it. I have to admit that it's been a while since I've read a f
Oct 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
I would describe this book somewhat like a Chinese dinner. Immediately after reading it you are hungry again.

What makes books like these usually good is that they are reasonably believable. Alas the author in this instance missed the mark by a bit. He does a good job of explaining the life of a day trader but in the end the story falls short with some unbelievable twists and turns.

If you are looking for a mindless light read then you might have found the right book. If not I would recommend so
Chris Babu
Nov 03, 2017 rated it liked it
This was my first Stephen Fry book, and as a former Wall Street trader, I was really looking forward to it. Financial thrillers are hard to write and I was curious how he would handle it. Turns out, it plays a fairly small role in the book, which is essentially a murder mystery. I found the characters unique and interesting, the plot creative. However, as the book wore on it broke my suspension of disbelief a few times. Some of the plotting is a bit far-fetched, some characters too convenient, s ...more
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Ridiculous unnecessary twists.. i found myself rolling my eyes at the end of every chapter. How can someone so obviously clueless about the people in his life suddenly have superb powers of observation?
Apr 03, 2009 rated it did not like it
Ana A
Jun 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
I found this book in a Free Reading Library in a mall. I didn't like it. I only made it up to page 24. The pace was fast but boring, the emotions the characters were feeling were difficult to relate to since it wasn't set up so well, and the things written down were just hard to believe. Maybe it's just the objective style of writing? I'm not sure exactly, but I just know I didn't like it.
Raquel Fitzgerald
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Good story.
Roger Scherping
Dec 23, 2016 rated it liked it
This is one of the strangest books I've ever read. It starts out as a murder mystery where the husband has absolutely no interest in learning who killed his wife, and the police seem to uncharacteristically take no interest in the husband as a subject.

Then, in the midst of his grieving, the husband embarks on a new day trading career using the proceeds from his wife's life insurance policy, and the story takes a whole new direction. We learn about a bizarre cast of characters forced to work tog
Jul 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I have to say I like most of Stephen Frey's books. I enjoy the financial aspects of them and they are usually about Wall Stret. This one isn't. It more of a murder mystery. First of all, I must say I knew nothing about day trading and have no idea if that part of the book is realistic. However, I did find it fascinating with the research and the big win of it all. I thought the financials were easy to follow and explained well enough to continue with the story. I thought the book was hard to put ...more
Mohab Hariry
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: asly
that was a hell of a ride reading this book .. I am really glad to find out about this author stephen frey ... the style with which the book is written is literary the smoothest and the most enjoyable of the english novels I ve read before
the wallstreet trading environment gives u a fake impression that it wil be a hard book to understand but on the contrary it was very easy and even the small technical info about trading was vlearly and beautifully explained
I strongly recommend this book to any
I have read all his previous six books and scored each one 5*. This one is no different. Although this is another financial thriller, it doesn't involve the high finance backdrop of New York's Wall Street. The rest of the plot is typical Frey. A central character, Augustus, who ends up as prime suspect in a murder investigation, lots of other possible candidates, another great detailed explanation of how the financial system works of (Day Trading, of course) all mixed in with a great plot, well ...more
Augustus McKnight seems to be on the right track making a huge score trading an IPO online. Unfortunately he comes home and finds out his wife is having an affair and wants to leave him. The next day she ends up dead and he comes into a windfall as a result of her life insurance policy. He then decides to become a full time day trader. Dogged by a cop and a insurance investigator who are looking to see if he killed his wife he finds out some things he didn’t want to know about his wife while str ...more
Tracy  Burd
Mar 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up at a thrift shop, liked the title and started it almost immediately. It takes place in Northern Virginia, which I am very familiar with. It is centered around day trading, who couldn't love that! It was a fast read, but I am not sure I like the author's style. There didn't seem to be enough explanation for things happening. It did have a good suspenseful ending. I will try another of his books at some point.
Lynn Townsend
Jan 05, 2010 rated it liked it
I didn't actually dislike this book; it kept me turning pages at a rapid pace - started it while doing the laundry around 9am and finished it (with a 3 hour interruption in the middle) around 5pm. And yet, I'm not really sure that it was very good, either.

The whole thing is written in present tense which made it read somewhat like a meadehall script, which was familiar, and yet somewhat unnerving in a novel. Also, I found the characters to be unplausable and coincidence way overused.
Foster Winter
Jun 25, 2015 rated it liked it
My first book by this author. I was influenced negatively by the naivety of the protagonist - who claims not to be. Therefore, for me, the story had some holes. Nonetheless, it was a read that apparently held my attention as I buzzed right through the book. And, I will look into another Stephen Frey story,
Ruth Ann
Fast-paced financial (sort-of) thriller. Not much financial stuff gets done, though....

(view spoiler)
Mar 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read this immediately after reading Frey's "The Insider," and while I gave them both the same number of stars, "The Day Trader" is much better. It's less predictable and faster-paced.

Frey is a master of making you like his protagonist and wondering which supporting character is bad. Great story.
Aug 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
This is a unrealistic story of a guy who, because his wife gets murdered, quits his job to become a day trader. He lies to the cops, hide things from the cops, takes matters into his own hands (to his own folly), yet he is never considered a suspect. Unbelieveable character traits leave the reader screaming "what the hell is going on". Decent story, but pretty far fetched.
Jan 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
I liked this one. Probably my favorite Frey book. I can't help but think that the whole Grisham lawyer thing got him going. He's to the financial/investment banking world, what Grisham is to the legal world. Fun read.
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
The story began well but I grew to dislike the character. For Some one who is supposed to be so smart the hero sure was being fooled by a lot people. The ending wasn't very believable either. Almost as if the writer couldn't wait to wrap up the story.
Jennifer H
I say 2.5 stars. It was a ridiculous story - but clearly a story gauged towards guys since it involved money, fast cars, an ex-NFL player, strippers, and women throwing themselves at the main character. ;) It's an easy read, a good beach book.
Rohit Enghakat
Nov 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-thriller
A good book for a layman to understand what day trading is. However beyond that there is not much of a plot with a half brother of the protagonist popping up as a culprit when the reader is expecting a good climax to the story.
Jul 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Stephen Frey is the John Grisham of the financial world. This book is a great thriller involving bankers, day traders the stock market and a little death and mayhem thrown in for good measure. Check out all of Frey's books.
Brett Wallach
Sep 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
The first half of this book was great, full of paranoid fun, like "The Firm" with stock traders instead of lawyers. The second half was about the worst second half of a book I've ever read, just inane.
Nov 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 1-books-fiction
Somewhat disappointed with this book, mostly because I didn't like any of the characters very much. However, I was very surprised by the ending, it was not what I had expected, which is always a good thing.
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
At first I kind of just felt bad for the Augustus. Works in paper sales, horrible boss, disinterested wife....but in the middle of the book, his actions made me upset. But he redeemed himself at the end.
Nov 10, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People looking for an easy read
I read this while I was sick. It is a light quick read. There are a few interesting twists and turns, but I felt the book was lacking something. If you are looking for an easy airplane read this is a good one.
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: other
Very slow start, but lots of twists and turns at the end which the reader does not see coming.
Apr 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, fiction
Liked the twists and turns without a doubt! Even the writing was very simple and it's a super light read.
The main plot had very little to do with Wall Street though.
Mar 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: stephen-frey
An easy summer read.
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For the last 15 years I’ve been lucky enough to be a novelist. Until recently the books were set in the worlds of Wall Street and Washington. In addition to writing, I’ve also had a career in finance with specialties including merger & acquisition advisory and private equity at firms like J.P. Morgan in New York City and Winston Partners just outside D.C. in northern Virginia.

So, it seemed na
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