Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (2/17)
“Trader Bob” by Vince Hawkins follows two school chums from elementary school to wealth, addiction, and fraud. The boys were great friends, but had a falling apart only later to be united in a scheme of all schemes.
Sandy excelled at everything he did and set very precise goals. The problem for him was he was addicted to wealth and didn’t care how he made it–legal or not. Bob really had no plans, he just floated through life in an alcoholic stupor. His addiction and jealousy of others led to his downfall.
Both men were drawn to the banking business as it was lucrative, and each could pull off scams on unsuspecting clients. Bob decides while working for Sandy, that he would take £250 million from the SBS Merchant Bank and no one would be the wiser until he got away.
Hawkins writes an amazing tale of how Trader Bob, as he was known, managed to escape the authorities through his detailed planning and master disguises. Always one-step ahead, Bob not only fooled the authorities, but his wives and family as well. During his first marriage, he decides that to be able to elude everyone he must stop drinking. So, off to AA he goes where he continues to lie and change persona at each meeting. Sandy decides that the authorities are not doing enough to capture Trader Bob so he sets out to find him himself.
Hawkins has weaved a very crafty tale, and provides very descriptive wording of his characters. However, I must let you know this is written in British English and therefore, some readers may have a hard time grasping some terms. I also felt that the story droned on at times, often wishing we would just get to the action.
There are some great surprises in the book that will throw readers for a loop. Just when you think you have got the flow going you will say, “Why didn’t I see that coming?” Hawkins also does a great job describing AA meetings and their philosophies.
“Trader Bob” by Vince Hawkins is an interesting read, quite lengthy in plot and subplots, but well written. I enjoyed it and thought the author did a good job.