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The Millionaires

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Two brothers. Three secret service agents. And millions for the taking. Charlie and Oliver Caruso are brothers who work at Greene and Greene, a private bank so exclusive there's a $2 million minimum to be a client. But when the door of success slams in their faces, the brothers are presented with an offer they can't refuse: $3 million in an abandoned account that can't be traced. It's the perfect victimless crime. Charlie and Oliver opt to take the money, but get much more than they bargained for. Now, with a lot of extra zeroes in their pockets and a friend found dead, the Secret Service and a female private investigator are closing in. Whose money did they take? How will they stay alive? And why is the Secret Service trying to kill them? Both Charlie and Oliver quickly realize it's not easy being The Millionaires.

560 pages, Paperback

First published January 8, 2002

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About the author

Brad Meltzer

207 books6,344 followers
Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, The Book of Fate, and nine other bestselling thrillers including The Tenth Justice, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, and The President’s Shadow. His newest book, The Escape Artist, debuted at #1 on the bestseller list.
In addition to his fiction, Brad is one of the only authors to ever have books on the bestseller list for Non-Fiction (History Decoded), Advice (Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter), Children’s Books (I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln) and even comic books (Justice League of America), for which he won the prestigious Eisner Award.
His newest thriller, The Escape Artist, introduces Nola and Zig, brand new characters in a setting that will blow your mind (you won't believe where the government let Brad go). For now, we'll say this: Nola is dead. Everyone says she's dead. But Jim "Zig" Zigarowski just found out the truth: Nola is alive. And on the run. Together, Nola and Zig will reveal a centuries old secret that traces back the greatest escape artist of all: Harry Houdini.
Raised in Brooklyn and Miami, Brad is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia Law School. The Tenth Justice was his first published work and became an instant New York Times bestseller. Dead Even followed a year later and also hit the New York Times bestseller list, as have all eight of his novels. The First Counsel came next, which was about a White House lawyer dating the President’s daughter, then The Millionaires, which was about two brothers who steal money and go on the run. The Zero Game is about two Congressional staffers who are – literally – gambling on Congress. The Book of Fate, is about a young presidential aide, a crazed assassin, and the 200 year-old code created by Thomas Jefferson that ties them together. For authenticity, The Book of Fate, was researched with the help of former Presidents Clinton and Bush. The Book of Lies, is about the missing murder weapon that Cain used to kill Abel, as well as the unsolved murder of Superman creator Jerry Siegel’s father. Brad is one of the only people to interview Jerry Siegel’s family about the murder and, with his charitable site www.OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld.com, has been the driving force behind the movement to repair the house where Superman was created.
His book The Inner Circle (and its sequels, The Fifth Assassin and The President’s Shadow) is based the idea that George Washington’s personal spy ring still exists today. A young archivist in the National Archives finds out the spy ring is still around. He doesn’t know who they work for — but the greatest secret of the Presidency is about to be revealed. While researching the book, former President George HW Bush also gave Brad, for the very first time, the secret letter he left for Bill Clinton in the Oval Office desk. Oh, and yes, Brad was recruited by the Department of Homeland Security to brainstorm different ways that terrorists might attack the US.
His books have spent over a year on the bestseller lists, and have been translated into over 25 languages, from Hebrew to Bulgarian.
Brad has played himself as an extra in Woody Allen’s Celebrity, co-wrote the swearing in oath for AmeriCorps, the national service program, and earned credit from Columbia Law School for writing his first book, which became The Tenth Justice. Before all of that, he got 24 rejection letters for his true first novel, which still sits on his shelf, published by Kinko’s.
Brad currently lives in Florida with his wife, who’s also an attorney.

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5 stars
2,475 (26%)
4 stars
3,639 (38%)
3 stars
2,646 (28%)
2 stars
538 (5%)
1 star
149 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 426 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah.
Author 109 books694 followers
November 26, 2007
I got the free audiobook of this last week and downloaded it to my iPod for the 20 hour roundtrip we were driving Thanksgiving week. It kept my friends and I awake and alert the whole time, but not for the author's intended reasons. It was like Rocky Horror or MST3K. Never have I had so much fun ripping a book apart.
The good parts: It was pretty well plotted, and the characters were engaging. The author did a good job setting up a situation in which you could cheer for the Robin Hood-like protagonists despite their crime.
The unintentionally hilarious: The characters do some really stupid stuff. The author spends several paragraphs describing the bile in the main character's throat. After ten or twenty (out of 88!) chapters of one first person protagonist, the reader is unexpectedly tossed into another person's head. In the latter half of the book, the perspective rotates between various characters with no real rhyme or reason other than convenience.
The two protagonists, brothers, spend most of the book giving each other meaningful looks. "Buck up, cowboy, and while you're at it, can you make me a corned beef sandwich with mustard on rye" Charlie said to me with his eyes. I got some great mileage out of those expressive eyes. My sisters and I are close, but there's no way they would know my look for mustard from my look for french dressing.
You could also make a great drinking game out of the adverbs: just chug anytime one character speaks, and the other "shoots back" or "blurts". There is a lot of shooting back and blurting. The word "blurt" sounds really funny after nine hours. So yeah, this was a lot of fun to read, but not for the right reasons.
503 reviews115 followers
September 21, 2021
Don’t know how this landed up in the Readers Digest Select Edition. One of the worst books I have read. The plot on the cover was so promising, also the other novels in the edition were excellent. So I started with the hopes that this would also be rated as 5 * like the others .

It turned out to be a major disappointment. Stealing millions seems like a joke.

Profile Image for Sarah.
2 reviews4 followers
April 4, 2011
Could I get some wine with this cheese? One of the worst books I have ever read. I think the author was eavesdropping on a conversation between 8-year-olds when he constructed the dialogue for this story.

Profile Image for Shelley.
5,100 reviews458 followers
January 15, 2011
Summary: Two brothers, one an executive at a bank and the other in an entry-level position, hatch a plot to steal three million dollars. Using a sophisticated computer program, they plan to transfer the money into an account only they can access. But after the transaction has been completed, they quickly realize that rather than three million dollars, they stole three hundred million. The secret service are called in to investigate and Charlie and Oliver Caruso soon find themselves on the run not only from the law, but from the people they stole the money from. Using technology to alter their identity and conceal their personal records, the people hunting them down use the same technology to track their whereabouts. It's a high-speed game of cat and mouse, filled with twists and turns that are sure to have readers racing to the last page.

REVIEW: The story itself is intriguing, but somewhere along the lines it became the next big motion picture by Steven Speilberg. You have the romp thru Disneyworld (Orlando, Florida). You have some semblance of real world applications in tracking down the money that was "stolen." The book moves along at a brisk pace, but the book itself is 500 pages long! I also lost myself to numbness with the banter of the two brothers.

Overall Rating: 2.5 stars
1,067 reviews19 followers
August 5, 2008
When it comes to characters caught in odd situations with bad guys in hot pursuit of some big secret, Brad Meltzer has proved himself to be an expert.

This time, two brothers embezzle three million bucks from a "dead" bank account, only to discover the next morning that it has turned into three hundred million bucks. Now the bank management, the secret service, etc. want that money back. The brothers rush to find out what happened in hopes of finding a way out of their problem-- only to uncover a deeper and darker mystery hiding beneath the surface.

Meltzer creates characters that are uniquely clever and tough, but with their own foibles. For example, one of the young brothers is supposed to be on medication for his heart, which give the character a touch of depth as well as helps thicken the plot.

This was another great read by Meltzer that kept me up at night, reading and turning pages.

Profile Image for Joe Noto.
140 reviews2 followers
June 5, 2019
This gets a 2.3 from me. Let me explain.
I enjoyed reading it. I flew through it thanks to the fast pace. If it ever slowed down, I may have given up on it, but it never did. There was a twist in the last 80 pages that I actually didn't see coming. But man, this isn't my type of book. It was a super easy read and didn't provoke any thought really. The writing was very simple. I think they call these books fluff books. That hurts my rating. Also, I found the book to be the equivalent of a popcorn flick or a network TV action drama show...the story is cliche through to the end and there is some corny, quirky dialogue sprinkled in to add a bit of comedy along the way just like network TV shows. I DISLIKE network TV because of the cliche stories and dialogue, so naturally I did not like that about this book. But....I read it all and I did have a hard time putting it down because of the pace. The pace and the short chapters got it the 2.3 stars.
Profile Image for Tory.
316 reviews
October 3, 2007
This one was pretty much just what it promised. An easy, entertaining, quick read.

The author seemed to try way too hard to be witty, and the end was (not the reveal, which kind of surprised me. I thought it would be the Quincy fellow.) but the come down after the reveal. It was stupid.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
540 reviews2 followers
March 17, 2019
This was a fun and easy book to read. Oliver and his brother, Charlie work at an exclusive bank and are tempted to "take" unclaimed money before it is turned over to the state. But they were unaware that they were being watched and others knew what they did. The brothers go on the run, and there is much more to this bank account than they ever imagined. The bank's head of security and even the Secret Service are involved, but Oliver and Charlie do not know who to trust. I loved the prominent Disney World component! This is a fast paced book with twists that suprised me. I enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Tonya Lucas.
1,105 reviews10 followers
March 7, 2019
What would you do if you found an inactive account worth 3 million dollars and if not claimed, you have to turn it over to the State?
Well the Millionaires by Brad Meltzer sends us on a journey of 2 bank workers who takes advantage of this opportunity.
Isn’t one of the most perfect crime’s the one that’s not even known to exist.
This was a fast paced, hair raising book.
Profile Image for Author Annabelle Leigha.
95 reviews14 followers
April 4, 2018
This book was amazing! I am a HUGE Disney fan, so the fact that Disney World was an integral part of this book made it all the better. During the subway fight and the fight in the Disney costume closet I could actually feel my heart racing! I would highly recommend this book!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Michelle Kitto.
112 reviews2 followers
April 16, 2019
I have read other books by Brad Meltzer and have enjoyed them all. This one was no exception. It held my interest and had a few twists and turns I didn't see coming. Some of the dialogue felt a little forced, but you did feel as if you knew the characters.
Profile Image for Corey Nelson.
166 reviews10 followers
October 8, 2019
New author for me and I was not sure from the start of the story. But it quickly turned to unexpected twists. Enjoyed the book overall very much. While the brothers bickering got old fast, the humor at the end made me laugh out loud as by then their characters were well understand and played.

Scott Brick continues to lead me to new books as I seek out what he is narrated. This book was a win for performance and story.
177 reviews1 follower
November 3, 2019
If I had a choice of 3.5 stars I would have chosen it. Meltzer is a great author of turn page mysteries. I always learn a lot and his books are all well researched. Millionaires met all my criteria for a good mystery, but sometimes the plot became too unbelievable and the end was just too PC.
Profile Image for Steve.
427 reviews32 followers
September 21, 2019
A clever plot, great characters, and some fantastic twists that kept spinning in different directions right up until the end. I really enjoyed the book.
4 reviews1 follower
November 23, 2011
The book The Millionaires by Brad Meltzer is a story about two brothers. One brother is Charlie Caruso, who is a low level employee at the exclusive bank Greene & Greene. The other brother is Oliver Caruso, who is the youngest associate at the entire bank. Charlie and Oliver soon begin planning the perfect crime. The bank at which they work, Greene & Greene, is so private and exclusive that a customer needs two million dollars to simply create an account. However, when they realize that the path they are on does not lead to success, they decide to make a life changing decision. Three million dollars in an abandoned account is just calling their names, begging to be taken. Nobody at the bank is aware that the funds exist, and if Oliver and Charlie do not take the money then the funds will just be transferred to the state of New York. The crime is foolproof. With three million dollars they could even begin to pay all of their bills and then become completely out of debt. After their father walked out on them and their mother, he left them with a lot of bills to pay, on top of bills that they were already obligated to pay.

After they hesitantly go through with the crime and steal the money, their lives instantly turn to chaos. Before they can even make sense of what is going on their friend is brutally murdered. All of a sudden the bank, Secret Service, and a female private investigator are closing in on them. What invisible alarms were attached to that account? How are the two brothers going to prove that they are innocent? Why is the Secret Service trying to kill them? Trapped in a fast paced race to stay alive, Charlie and Oliver are about to discover a secret that will test their trust and forever change their lives.

This book is a well written mystery novel because it keeps the reader on edge and is constantly surprising the reader. As soon as the reader is introduced to the bank robbery plot, the whole book changes themes. In the book before the bank robbery all that is described is the normal life of employees who work for an exclusive bank. However as soon as they steal the money the whole theme becomes one of mystery and drama. Before the robbery Oliver is a careful guy who hates to break the rules, but after the robbery his character changes. Oliver’s character then changes to somebody who is always alert, worried, and most of all reliant on his brother. They are both in this mess and both have to find a way to get out of it. Before the robbery Oliver did not really have to rely on his brother for anything other than being family. Now they are relying on each other to stay alive. This book was very enjoyable to read because it has the perfect blend of mystery and suspense. It is also enjoyable because the whole story is something that could actually happen and the author is showing that the economy is rough now and some people who have always been good citizens turn to crime. In short this was a fantastic book to read. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading mystery and suspenseful books.
Profile Image for Dan Dundon.
321 reviews1 follower
November 2, 2020
The premise of this book is intriguing and indeed the first few chapters fulfilled the promise of an action-packed thriller. However, later chapters strained credibility even for a piece of fiction.

For example in one of the earlier chapters the protagonist Oliver Caruso agrees to go SCUBA diving at night with someone he barely knows into a shipwreck. It strains credibility that two divers, one a novice, with one light between them would go diving at night on a shipwreck. In fact, anyone who has done any diving knows that shipwreck diving is foolish and extremely dangerous at night.
Nevertheless our protagonist, who we are told is fairly smart, is willing to risk his life for nothing more than a little enjoyment and to break out of his old habits. It adds nothing to the story in the long run and could easily have been modified to make it more realistic.

Another example occurs at Disney World when the protagonist, his brother and a few others are engaged in a raging gun battle in a warehouse on the park property. It again strains credibility to believe that security personnel in Disney World would allow such gunplay to continue for as long as this battle occurred without intervening. While the Disney World location adds some interesting color, the segment not only strains credibility but is predictable.

Yes, there are some interesting twists in the plot, but the unrealistic characteristics detract from them in a major way.
Profile Image for Johnsergeant.
635 reviews28 followers
December 2, 2007
Downloaded from Audible.com

Narrator: Scott Brick
Publisher: Hachette Audio, 2002
Length: 14 hours 45 min.

Publisher's Summary

What would you steal if you couldn't get caught?

It started as the perfect crime. Then it took a turn for the worse.

Charlie and Oliver Caruso are brothers who work at Greene & Greene, a private bank so exclusive you need two million dollars just to be a client. But when the door of success slams in their faces, they're faced with an offer they can't refuse: three million dollars in an abandoned account. No one knows it exists, and even better, it doesn't belong to anyone.

It's a foolproof crime. More important, for Charlie and Oliver, it's a way out of debt and the key to a new life. All they have to do is take the money.

But when they do, they quickly discover they've got a lot more on their hands than the prize. Before they can blink, a friend is dead - and the bank, the Secret Service, and a female private investigator are suddenly closing in.

Trapped in a breakneck race to stay alive, Charlie and Oliver are about to discover a secret that will test their trust and forever change their lives.

Profile Image for Marcus.
32 reviews3 followers
April 14, 2009
This was a fun little read about a pair of brothers who try to rob the bank they work in. The plan is a simple one. Take a “dead account” and set it up to be transferred to an account they chose. The only problem is the other person trying to steal the money.

I haven’t read fiction in a while, and this was a nice return. I actually read this book by listening to it on my ipod. I forget how I got the audio book, but I do remember it being free. It was a neat experience there was one reader, but he did make slightly different voices for the various characters. It was kind of like listening to an old radio show and seeing all the players in my mind.

The story was well developed and had a couple of subplots that were important to the overall story. The final twist at the end was only somewhat of a surprise. The one thing that was really nice, was that nothing was too far fetched, unless it was supposed to be so in the book.
Profile Image for Luis.
12 reviews
December 5, 2012
Now this is one of those books that flow at a very great pace, I read this in 2 days and actually wanted some more once i finished the last page.

The whole premise is a bit sketchy, if stealing millions of dollars was as easy as the book wants you to believe, then the economy would probably collapse. Still, it makes for a great story and a very entertaining adventure.

I would have loved for the characters to be a bit older and more mature, it would have been a bit more credible that way. And it would also have helped if the story wasn't so predictable, I mean come on! who didn´t know who the bad guy was form the get go?

I first read a Meltzer book a few months ago (The Book of Lies) and it sucked... This one was way better and infinitely more entertaining, I might give more of his books a chance just to get a grasp on his overall style. Who knows? there might be more books from him I find enjoyable.
Profile Image for Tom Tischler.
904 reviews13 followers
June 7, 2013
Two brothers one in an executive position at a bank and the
other at entry level discover a way to steal three million
dollars. They plan to transfer the money to an account only
they can access. After it goes through they discover that
they now have three hundred million dollars not three million.
The secret service is called in and they find themselves running
not only from the law but the people they stole the money from.
Then they use some modern technology to alter their identity and
personal records but the people hunting them use the same thing
to find them. This is a high speed game of cat and mouse filled
with twists and turns. This novel has a pretty good story but
could use a little more action.

Profile Image for Jack.
179 reviews2 followers
October 21, 2022
I actually liked Brad Melters books. But this one hit bottom, I couldn't even finish it. It was like Bevis and Butthead steal 3 million dollars. The dialogue was ridiculous: Wiping the sweat back from my dark brown hair, I push the button anyway. Who talks like that? The wise crack metaphors were annoying and non-stop. These are suppose to be intelligent people employed by an exclusive banking institution. There are books where you root for there bad guys, because you feel sympathetic. There was an attempt to make them more like Robin Hoods of the Bronx e.g. mothers numerous hospital bills, deceased father left them in debt, mother loses her job, terrible boss etc, But they were so unlikeable I didn't care!
Profile Image for Jennifer DeLucy.
Author 6 books391 followers
May 4, 2009
Uugh, this book had me stressed out for days! It's completely not the kind of book I would typically read, but come on...how can you argue against a novel with a chase scene through the underbelly of Disney World?? In all seriousness, though, you can really relate to the two brothers in this story. I'd definitely reccmnd. it.
Profile Image for Bill Warden.
342 reviews1 follower
November 29, 2011
This was another brilliant book by Brad Meltzer. I was able to empathize with the brothers and the situation they were in. The entire story moves along smoothly and is very enjoyable to read.

This is a thriller that is worth reading.
Profile Image for Don.
Author 6 books38 followers
May 19, 2018
I got a SCRIBD membership that gives me access to a bunch of audiobooks. I picked this one as as easy listen while doing chores. I don't think I would taken the time to pick it up and read it. As an audiobook it was at least worth listening to the end. I think Meltzer has written better stories.
Profile Image for Leann.
Author 6 books22 followers
April 23, 2007
This book is horrible. I'm not even finishing it. Main pet peeve: The dialogue is atrocious.
Profile Image for Erik.
845 reviews4 followers
February 18, 2009
Saw this one listed on the best seller list and gave it a try. A very good and interesting mystery/thriller that kept my attention from start to finish. Well worth the read.
Profile Image for Jill Hohnstein.
Author 2 books7 followers
March 6, 2010
Fun. Also? Brad Meltzer is one of the writers for the Buffy Season 8 comics.
Profile Image for Jamie.
Author 1 book10 followers
September 20, 2011
Do you wish you could add a few zeros to your bank account? Just get the right software program like in the Millionaires.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 426 reviews

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