on Oct. 7, 2012 :
Be Careful Reading This Book, You Might Learn Something
Currency begins with a fascinating little romp through history on a search for missing pirate treasure then explodes into a thrilling tale of political intrigue and modern warfare. Connor Murray is a normal enough man, a bond trader by profession, when he learns that he is the sole inheritor of a trust connected to Aaron Burr. As he researches the details of the trust, events begin to unfold, setting him on a dangerous path. Not only is his life in danger, his county’s economy is going down the tubes. America’s constant borrowing to fix immediate problems has only delayed an inevitable economic catastrophe, one that is knocking at their door. As Connor comes closer to unraveling the mystery surrounding the long-lost treasure, the United States may very well be on the precipice of losing its dominance as a global superpower. As if that weren’t enough to deal with, he gets a second chance at love with a beautiful woman that he meets along the way.
Mr. Wood expertly weaves the title theme through three historical periods to create a captivating story. The historical accuracy in this novel is flawless. (I did extensive fact checking and learned a lot in the process!) The reader can be rest assured that even minor details are authentic. Mr. Wood has a solid grasp of real world economics as well as military hardware and operations. He also does a good job of capturing the essence of each time period and the feel of the varied locations in the book. The political/economic scenario presented in this story is not too far from the situation in which the US finds itself now. This is definitely a book to read very carefully or more than once to get the most out of it.
Mr. Wood’s writing style is enjoyable but could use some improvement. A few of the explanations temporarily pluck you out of the story. Editing errors (most notably comma and semicolon use) are a slight distraction.
**WARNING: Potential Spoilers Ahead**
*I found it interesting that Mr. Wood has a recurring theme throughout the book that it isn’t necessarily the people of a country that are bad, but it is the corrupt government officials who are usually the problem.
*I thought it was a nice touch to have Connor’s life mildly mirror Aaron Burr’s tragic one.
*My favorite quote: “…[foreign leaders] need to be scared of the United States, of her power and her will to use it.”
Here is a list of some of the interesting history and other neat stuff found in Currency:
Pirate treasure, Captain Kidd, The Burr-Hamilton Duel, Aaron Burr, Bahamas, Nassau, Fort Montagu, Blennerhassett, Blackbeard, Captain Henry Morgan, Robert Culliford, Spanish Gold, The Campbell Apartment, Fort Fincastle, Conchy Joe, Lord Bellomont, The Exumas, Bahamian sand, Alexander Hamilton, Captain Kidd’s trial and execution, gibbet, Alexander Hamilton’s affair, US Treasury Bonds, debt, bearer trusts, HY-4, Aaron Burr’s tragic life, Bushehr, Billy Mitchell (but not this Billy Mitchell), U.S. Fifth Fleet, USS Vincennes, Machiavelli, Moscow’s Seven Sisters, Jamaican bauxite, Resolute Desk, FSB, Situation Room, Tax Havens, IBCs, OECD, SEALs, CV-22 Osprey, C-17, blue police lights in Moscow, US Dues to the UN, Pieces of Eight, Reserve Currency, IMF, Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), death mask, CUSIP Number, War Powers Act, Stuxnet, Bunker Busters, S-300, B-2, radar evading skin, brinkmanship, Isle of Hope, Wormsloe Plantation, J.P. Morgan, The Corner, Wall Street, Bank of New York, Bank of the United States, Coast Guard, Winston Churchill, Special Relationship
(reviewed 48 days after purchase)