A young derivatives trader suspected of fraud flees to Peru only to find herself facing much greater unknown and unexpected perils. The action ranges from the peaks of the banking world to the Andes, from the financial jungle of the City of London to the real, Amazonian jungle, and back again.
The Making of an Author
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"The scope for crime was immense. I sat down one day and wondered what would be the biggest, most spectacular crime that could be committed. I tried to think like a criminal. How would I make a fortune? How could I bridge the gap between the City and the world at large off which it feeds?"One afternoon, in July 1991, Linda Davies asked herself those questions and they led her to think of the perfect crime and to start writing.
"I didn't want to write about a parochial insider trading case. I wanted to show the links between governments and central banks and the City, and the role that the intelligence services now have in business and finance. The City is a perfect cover for spies."
The result was Nest of Vipers, a novel whose main theme was confirmed by subsequent events.
Following her successful debut, Linda travelled to Hong Kong and Vietnam to do research for her second novel, Wilderness of Mirrors, which deals not only with the intelligence services and the financial world but also the diamond industry and the international drugs trade.
While she was finishing writing the book her life took another sudden change of course. She met Rupert Wise, a banker, and a few months later got married and moved to Peru where the people they came into contact with ranged from the political leaders of the country to gunmen who fought a battle around their house!
"Then the shooting got closer and closer. It reached our garden and the alarm went off. I was terrified when Rupert grabbed his pistol and went outside. I was charging around the house with a kitchen knife, scared to death the gunmen were going to come through the glass frontage of our modern house. I hugged the walls trying to avoid whatever the hell was going on. I rang our bodyguard on the inter-com, but he did not respond. As far as I was concerned, both he and my husband had been shot."Actually they survived, help arrived and the attackers were driven off. The only lasting legacy of the experience is the inspiration it provided for one of the key chapters of Into the Fire. Linda and Rupert's other experiences of Peru, including much happier ones such as as hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, are also reflected in the book, which also deals with the very different world of the derivatives market.
"There was nothing familiar of friendly about the derivatives market. It could rip your guts out overnight, as it had done to Barings, when a lone trader built up a derivatives loss of seven hundred and forty million pounds, breaking the bank. Derivatives were the biggest, most potentially lucrative, and destructive market in the world."
Quotation from Into the Fire.
Read the Full Biography which includes links to other sites carrying interviews with Linda Davies or articles about her.