In a world that has been forever marred by the effects of terrorism after 9-11, we are constantly reminded of what can happen when extremists wage war against us. Thus, physical terrorism is not a new topic by any means. However, another form of terrorism can wreak just as much havoc and destruction as any other type of conventional terrorism. It has the power to bring nations to a standstill and render them inoperable. It is known as economic terrorism. The Economics of Ego Surplus by Paul McDonnold uncovers the motives and inner workings of this new and terrifying form of evil in the world in a thrilling new novel.
Meet Kyle Linwood. He’s a PhD candidate in economics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He has a longtime girlfriend named Smith who owns a local pottery shop. He’s looking forward to a summer free from teaching and working on his dissertation. Sounds like a normal guy right? His life however suddenly becomes far from normal. After a particularly volatile day of trading on the NYSE, the Dow plunges further down, losing 22% of its value in just one day. After making some small gains, it falls even further, bringing part of the world economic market with it. Fortunately, the FBI has a small foothold on who they think may be behind it, and they recruit Kyle to help as a mid-level technical advisor on the case due to his experience with economics and trade. Eventually, this assignment brings him to the United Arab Emirates as he and the Bureau chase down the terrorist mastermind. What follows is a tale of intrigue, mystery, and good old-fashioned action as Kyle attempts to get to the bottom of this terrifying new type of attack on America and the rest of the world.
This book was particularly enjoyable as it served two roles. In one sense it was a typical action/adventure novel with a good guy and bad guy, separated by ideology and their views on what is moral and correct in the world. They battle each other just as any hero and villain do. However, a larger part of this book seems to be dedicated to explaining economics and what impacts it has on our lives as a whole. In understanding this, we can then see how detrimental economic terrorism is, as it basically knocks our feet out from under us, taking away our ability to trade with one another and trust in our own currency. Personally, I avoided economics like the plague in college and took an international business course to avoid having to take micro or macroeconomics. After reading McDonnold’s work, however, I have a newfound level of appreciation for the subject, taking a different view on what economics has to do with my life and how I interact as a consumer with the goods and services around me. McDonnold did a great job of explaining these theories without putting me to sleep. He included just enough action to keep the plot moving forward, although at times I felt as if things were stalling slightly. Even so, the overall result is a well-balanced novel that will definitely make you rethink economics if you have an aversion to it as I did. McDonnold’s tale is part cautionary, part thriller as he puts us right in the middle of the action as Kevin battles to save the rest of the world from economic failure. It’s an exciting and worthwhile read!
4 out of 5 Stars