Charles Epping
  • Review
By – December 19, 2011

In his first finan­cial thriller, Charles Epping mix­es fact with fic­tion when com­put­er pro­gram­mer Alex Pay­ton acci­den­tal­ly uncov­ers a Treu­hand, or trust account, while work­ing for a Swiss bank. Treu­hand accounts were cre­at­ed in the years pri­or to World War II to help Jews pro­tect their assets from Nazi seizure. To cre­ate the accounts, Jew­ish fam­i­lies trans­ferred their assets to trust­ed non-Jew­ish fidu­cia­ries, who then opened secret trust accounts in their own names. The trustees would man­age the assets until the fam­i­lies could reclaim them after the war. In Trust, Epping cre­ates a fast paced nov­el of what could have hap­pened to an unclaimed Treu­hand account more than fifty years after its creation. 

As she search­es for the true ben­e­fi­cia­ries of this secret account, Alex Pay­ton is thrust into a world of mon­ey laun­der­ing, decep­tion, and dan­ger. Alex’s research is pre­sum­ably based on Epping’s real life expe­ri­ences as an inter­na­tion­al finan­cial con­sul­tant. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, Epping’s attempt to write from a woman’s per­spec­tive often fails to ring true. The dia­logue is clichéd, and many of the plot twists seem unre­al­is­tic at best. Nonethe­less, fans of this genre may find this quick page turn­er to be an enjoy­able read. 

Miri­am Bauer is an attor­ney and for­mer legal writ­ing direc­tor at DePaul Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege of Law. She lives in Chicago.

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