Davis Bunn’s novels are creative and contemporary, though his character development often leaves something to be desired. That’s what made his latest book, “Domino Effect”, so interesting. The novel revolves largely around the main character, Esther -a solitary, analytical risk-analyst who predicts and attempts to prevent a global economic meltdown. Bunn actually does a great job developing Esther’s character, creating a woman who has endured deep personal loss and tragedy throughout her life and consequently is a remote and isolated adult who takes comfort in the solidity of numbers, patterns and algorithms. As an added and interesting touch, Esther is also a genius. But Bunn does such a thorough job depicting Esther as closed-off and anti-social, that she’s not especially relatable from the reader’s perspective. This contributes to a contrived feeling throughout the book, as Esther is drawn into increasingly meaningful relationships, despite seeming disinclined towards personal interaction. That progression from her isolation to her healthy socialization would actually work fine except that the plot is compressed into an incredibly short time period.
The post-2008 banking setting makes this novel extremely jargon heavy; however, explanation and description of the banking and trading terms is thoroughly conveyed through the characters’ dialogues. The uninformed reader (I fell squarely into this category) will learn quite a bit about trading, the stock market and banking practices throughout this book.
The plot is interesting and realistic; banking practices that brought about the 2008 global recession were mitigated through government intervention and regulations. Though many unethical practices were curtailed, some banks developed new, risky schemes for amassing quick profits and the global economy faces total, imminent (and diabolically engineered) collapse. While the story is fictional, it definitely rings of truth and perhaps acts as a warning for consumers today. As mentioned, this story is condensed into a very brief time period, events progress quickly and there’s never a dull moment.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.