Cover Image: The Darlings

The Darlings

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The Darlings are one of new York’s most famous families. Carter Darling’s investment company makes tons of money, mother Ines is still the most stunning woman at all gala events and their two daughters Merrill and Lily have found perfectly fitting husbands and fulfil their roles of the clever and the beautiful also impeccably. When one of Carter’s business partners commits suicide, the family has to face a crisis they have never seen before and, first and foremost, they have to admit that some things are just not what they pretended them to be: Carter is not the honest businessman, Ines is not the wife who still loves him after all those decades together, and family does not come first, when they feel threatened. What starts with one man taking his life, ends in one of the biggest finance scandals New York has ever seen and the Darlings are at the very centre of it.

Cristina Alger’s novel is a combination of a highly complex financial fraud thriller and a very personal family drama in which almost all characters are put to a test: what are their values, how far are they willing to go to protect their loved ones, how much more important can money be than the lives of people? The mechanics of both, the financial world and a family with their closest friends, are laid open and show the darkest corners of human nature.

Admittedly, “The Darlings” is not a fast paced thriller which keeps you alert all the time. Even though the plot covers just a couple of days and actually moves quite quickly, the author chose to rather go into depths with her characters which I liked a lot since it gives a lot more insight in their thoughts and makes their decision-making a great deal more comprehensible. The sheer number of characters wasn’t easy to manage at the beginning and understanding the connection between them took some time, but in the end, it was all very cleverly connected and set up and no questions was left unanswered. This might be difficult for some readers who prefer a speedy thrill, yet, for those who like stories about human beings and their nature, it is a great read.
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A story of a ultra wealthy family, The Darlings, and a scandal that will rock their world !!

Carter Darling is the head of a financial company where his son in law, Paul, is employed.  Over a thanksgiving weekend the death of an associate and friend reveals some shady dealings within Carter’s company.  Did he know about it ? Who is about to take the fall ? Will the Darling family ever be the same again ?

This is more than just a story about the financial markets, it’s also about a family that wants for nothing but is that enough ? I was a bit concerned to start with that I was going to get lost with all the financial comings and goings but it is written in such a way that even with my limited knowledge I was able to follow along.  We are gradually introduced to the family members as well as some outsiders, I have to admit though I only really warmed to Merrill and Paul !! This is a great book that is different to what I normally read but will definitely read more form Christina in the future.

Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for a digital copy of this book.
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Having read a couple of other novels by Cristina Alger, I was intrigued to read this though I did not initially realise this was a prequel to The Banker's Wife.  Alger's background means she writes well about the world of high finance, and this was no exception. It tells the story of the Darling family, headed by Carter Darling, who have made their money running an investment firm - when a fund run by a family friend and which the firm is heavily invested in is shown to be a Ponzi scheme, it has an impact on the whole family as long-held secrets are uncovered.

If I had one criticism, it would be that Alger introduces a lot of characters and initially at least this for me detracted from the story as I spent quite a lot of time trying to figure out who was who and what their connection was.  However, as I got further into the story I began to enjoy it more as things became clearer and the truth started to be exposed, and it builds to a satisfying ending which for me made it overall an entertaining read.

Thank you to Netgalley and Mulholland Books for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Really enjoyed the bankers wife, and had an high expectation from the Darlings.
It did take me a while to figure out who was who, who was with who
and to actually get into it, not what I was expecting 
Didn't really hold my attention or kept me gripped.
Didn't relate to the characters, im not saying don't read it, 
Just thought it was a bit flat compared to the Bankers Wife

Thank you netgalley, Christina Alger and Hodder and Stoughton for allowing me to read and review this book.
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Bonfire of the Vanities moves into this century. The Darlings, set in New York during Thanksgiving week in the financial crisis of 2008, details the collapse of a financial empire and the deterioration of the family that runs it. Both have been coming, visible only under the surface, for a long time, but outer stress makes all problems, personal and professional faced by the Darling family, obvious.

The probable suicide of Uncle Morty Reis, major investor for Delphic Investments, begins an unstoppable chain of events. The Darling family, Carter Darling, wife Ines and daughters Merrill, husband Paul and Lily with her husband Adrian, are planning to celebrate Thanksgiving at the family home in the Hamptons. With that as background, the unraveling begins. The involvement of the SEC is fraught with its own inner problems and politicalization. A jaded editor and his assistant uncover Reis’ Madoff-like scheme. Meanwhile, at the Darling compound, relationships are tested as dinner is served at the heavily decorated holiday table.

The Darlings combines a thriller set in the world of high finance with the story of a family torn apart by greed. The Darlings’ world of high society, devoid of loyalty, is populated by well described, although not always likable, characters. The novel is tightly plotted and well written with an epilogue that provides the perfect ending. 5 stars.

Thanks to NetGalley, Hodder & Stoughton and Cristina Alger for this ARC.
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Having read and enjoyed The Banker's Wife, also by this author, I was quite intrigued to see what she would deliver next. Although this book was a bit of a marathon for me, I did read my way through it and was pretty glad I did.
So, why a marathon. Well, with what is going on in the world at the moment, like I suspect many others, I am struggling to read. My attention is wandering. So I really rely on books that I can read through easily, ones which will hold my attention nicely throughout. This book jumps around all over the place - characters, time, setting, etc, and I suspect that even if I wasn't already struggling I would have still found it a bit heavy going. That said, I have not gone heavy handed in my star rating as I did keep going and it did all eventually come together nicely at the end.
Paul Ross has married into the Darling Family. Having lost his job as an attorney he start to work for his wife's father's finance company as head of their legal team. But is his good fortune coming to an end as there's a financial crises and fingers are starting to be pointed towards certain aspects of the firm's investments? This is heightened when a key player befalls a tragic event.
Set around Thanksgiving, we follow quite a few characters as they try and make sense of what is going on in the present. These are illustrated with many forays into their pasts which adds colour and flavour to what it going on in the now. Some of whom fear for what could happen to them and their loved ones, others are relieved that finally they could be free. All will be changed by the events that occur on pretty much an hourly basis. Who will survive the fallout, and at what cost?
There are a lot of characters to get to grips with in this book. So many that I did initially struggle to keep them all straight until I started one of my famous "cast lists". This kept me on the straight and narrow enough initially that just over half way through I realised that I was no longer needing to refer to it. Most of them are, shall we say, not that nice. But many have reasons for their behaviour and feelings of entitlement, others just want to get their jobs done. An eclectic mix to say the least.
As you would expect, this book is jam packed full of secrets, lies and duplicitous behaviour. As the narrative progresses, more of these are exposed and uncovered and the whole truth starts to come to light. It does take a while to get to that point but it is worth it when you get there. But en route I did have to slog through a bit too much (for me) of the financial shenanigans that, although I did eventually get, did distract me from the main story a tad.
All in all, a bit of a slog for me to get through but my own grit and determination was rewarded at the end. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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I started off this book not being really sure if I liked it or not, but actually ended up really enjoying it by the end.

It was set in the high finance world of hedge funds, stocks and shares etc. so a lot of it went completely over my head to be honest, and I did skip over descriptive parts of this, not knowing what the heck they were talking about(!), but once I got over this I really enjoyed the parts about the Darling family and the associated people surrounding them.

The story is about the very rich Darling family, the head of which is Carter Darling, who has dragged himself up from nothing and made it to the top of the financial tree.  His wife and daughters have wanted for nothing.  But then a partner/good friend commits suicide and their financial world is thrown into turmoil when it turns out a hedge fund he was managing is actually a Ponzi scheme and billions of dollars are missing.

Of course then it's every man/woman for themselves with people being thrown under the bus in an effort to save their skins.  The story is set over a short period and labelled with each chapter, so makes easy reading.  It made you keep reading to find out who would come out of it relatively unscathed in the end, and who would end up in prison.

The whole world was cutthroat though and definitely not one I'd like to live in!  There were some really interesting characters, but quite a few of them, so I did find it hard to figure out who went where intially, and sometimes you wondered how they all fit together, but it all became clearer as the book went on.

My favourites were Marina Darling and her husband Paul, they were the most honest ones just trying to live their lives and be happy. There was also a slight mystery/unanswered question about one character, so I did love the epilogue that tied up that loose end.

In the end a book I really enjoyed.
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I had high expectations for The Darlings, after having read The Bankers Wife and Girls Like Us and loving them.  This book was not the story I had hoped for.  

Set after the 2008 financial crisis in banking there is alot of detail and description of the world of finance in New York.  I was bored.  The characters were all very selfish and unlikable. 

It really wasn't for me. Thank you Netgalley, Hodder and Stoughton/Mulholland Books.  Sorry I didn't enjoy it more
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Not my cup of tea. I found this book full of irrelevant details and it didn't keep my attention as I couldn't connect to the plot.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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I'd read the Bankers wife  and thoroughly enjoyed it, so thought  I'd like to try this,  However its not a new book and has in fact been out several years, but its very current and again I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It was written by a former analyst at Goldman Sachs, this novel portrays the extremely  wealthy society and the financial problems that brought about the crisis on Wall St. She doe s this very well.  the characters weren't that likeable as all had their own agendas, but it was brilliantly written.  thanks for the opportunity to read  the arc Netgalley and publishers. I look forward to reading more by tis author.
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I have read Christina Alger’s Girls like us and The bankers wife and enjoyed them both. 

This book is set in the finance area of New York and is set after 2008 financial crisis. So the finance area is still on edge in this book. Each main character in this book has a point of view. All are characters come from different bankgrounds, some have been born into wealth and some have work towards their wealth. 

In this book we have crime, death, greed, wealth and lies. 

I like that although we had our bad characters who would do anything to save their themselves including turning on their own family. We also had our good characters who tried the best to keep the world good even if that meant working against their own family. As the saying goes “you have to do what feels right”, which definitely is truth for our good characters. 

I loved the descriptions of New York, it makes you think you are actually in New York with these characters. 

Also you can definitely tell the author has knowledge regarding law and finance. 

I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the authors future work.

I received a ARC from Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an objection review.
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Loved this book had read some of it before.. loved the series Dirty Sexy Miney and this fills in the gaps
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Thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The blurb for The Darlings was without doubt one of the most intriguing I have read in a long while. Alger, with pin-point precision, captures the zeitgeist of the post-2008 financial crisis with verve and style. In the eponymous ‘Darlings’ of the title, we have main protagonists that are equally fascinating as they are repugnant. Imagine the Madoff clan, crossed with the ‘greed is good’ mentality of ‘Wall Street’, and the cultural observations of ‘American Psycho’, and you sum up some of the literary influences of ‘The Darlings’. This  book literally has it all: obscene wealth, corruption, a criminally opaque financial system and a sprinkling of death for good measure. ‘The Darlings’ are endlessly fascinating and you will love and hate them in equally measure. An enjoyable romp about the grotesque humanity behind the biggest financial crisis in history.

Great Stuff.
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To be honest this wasn’t what I was expecting and I didn’t actually finish the book very disappointing
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I was expecting allot more from this book and felt a little disappointed when I finished it, it was boring and the plot was as not very captivating. When I saw it was being compared to gossip girl I was hoping for something totally different from what I have read. I did enjoy it and would recommend it for those who love stories about scandals and controversial matters .
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I was expecting a grown up Gossip Girl. That’s what the synopsis immediately brought to mind. Unfortunately The Darlings was for lack of a better word....boring. Maybe even dull. I couldn’t connect with any of this story.

Not for me but could be great for you!
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I am so sorry. I just found this book a little dull and far too much irrelevant information. Did not finish
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‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark’. For Denmark, substitute New York City, specifically Reis Capital Management led by Morty Reis. The SEC are about to swoop as to say the least there is financial irregularity, a major fraud which seems to be a Ponzi scheme of Madoff proportions. 

Carter Darling (sorry but I keep expecting to hear Tinkerbell!) is the CEO of Delphic, a multi million/billion/gazillion financial institutions and Delphic has a 30% investment in RCM. As the family gather in where else but The Hamptons for Thanksgiving the knives are out. Who will take the fall? Be the sacrificial lamb? Thrown to the investigative wolves? Carter believes in family first, play by the rules (but who’s rules??) as long as you save your own neck and let truth take a backseat. 

Well for me that is about as interesting as it gets. The financial ins and outs are very complex which is fine, I’m not an idiot and I don’t expect things to be dumbed down and I was quite prepared to let that wash over me in return for a darn good yarn. My hopes were for ‘Dirty Sexy Money’ meets ‘Billions’ with a nice bit of ‘Revenge’  and ‘The Good Fight’ chucked in for good measure. What we actually get is so many personalities with so many irrelevant back stories that interrupts the meat of the story and so that gets utterly lost in the morass. Most of the characters are unlikable with the exception of his son in law Paul and his daughter Merrill who are both decent and hardworking. There are an awful lot of coincidences as well that stretch your credulity. However, there are some sections that I really enjoy just a shame that it is interrupted by a section on yet another character. The end is quite twisty but I can’t say it is a great surprise. 

Overall, an average read which is a shame because the premise is interesting although perhaps it’s been done in television programmes!. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton - a republication????
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It was a very insightful novel, with a strong cast of characters. I enjoyed the storyline very much and would definitely reccomend this book.
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