Then of course there is the coming financial crisis. Risk’s protagonist, Sam Nola, is a middle-aged New Zealander who as the novel opens has, fresh from a divorce, recently moved to London, the city where he had a two-year OE in the late 70s. Sam is a commercial lawyer, and as soon as we discover that his return to London has brought with it a lucrative job in a fictional investment bank, the events of late 2008 loom large and ominous over the novel. There is some presaging element of fiddling while Rome burns about Risk, with banking bosses amassing more and more wealth and Sam rising almost accidentally up the ranks while being the only character to feel occasional anticipatory pangs of disquiet.
EMILY BRAUNSTEIN BROOKES is a graduate of Victoria University of Wellington and a former editor of Salient. Her reviews have appeared in the Dominion Post, the Listener and the Times Literary Supplement. She currently lives and works in Paris.