Clem Chambers

The Twain Maxim

"...a helter skelter romp through the jungle and financial markets (spot the similarity there?)..."


Billionaire trader Jim Evans has risen from the Squalor of London's East End into the elite of the mega-rich by his early twenties. He has an uncanny ability to read a stock trading chart and correctly predict which way the stock price will go. He buys into the fledgling Congo based Barron mining as a favour to a friend but when he purchases more and more shares his broker goes to investigate and disappears whilst looking over the prospective mine.

The action rages from the stock market floor to the jungle and back with Baz Mycock and Jim Evans trading blows against each other through the stock exchange as Evans' buying is disrupting Mycock's plans to manipulate the markets for his own gain. Evans sets off from the mine with “Man Bites Dog” a child soldier who is his guide as he attempts to find his missing broker. Congolese rebels storm the mine when Evans is away on the search and Mycock bravely abandons Evans and Man Bites Dog to their fate...

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This is a helter skelter romp through the jungle and financial markets (spot the similarity there?) that has the reader turning pages with increasing rapidity. Chambers has a marvellous style of prose as he describes events rather than emotions and action instead of words. The whole feeling of the book reminded me very much of Alistair MacLean and Desmond Bagley which I thoroughly enjoyed, having exhausted those authors many years ago. It is not a crime, action, adventure or financial book but rather an amalgam of all four and Chambers understanding of the stock markets made his explanations straightforward enough for a novice like me to follow. The characterisations of Evans, Mycock and Man Bites Dog have obviously been given much careful deliberation and it shines out of every page they feature on. There are a decent supporting cast but for me Man Bites Dog stands out as a prime example of what can be achieved with a new character in a single novel. Personally, I would like to read his autobiography!

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