Published in hardback June 1999 & in paperback January 2000.
THE IDEA :
I first saw the vision for my thriller, Square Mile, when I came into work one Monday morning at a leading stockbroker in the City of London. A middle-aged investment banker who worked directly opposite me had been murdered in his Spitalfields apartment at the weekend, stabbed several times with a serrated blade. The murderer was never caught, despite the crime and suspect photo being featured on BBC's Crimewatch TV programme. It started me thinking. What if his death was connected to his work as a big-shot corporate financier? This was the genesis of the novel.
At the time I was frequently traveling overseas to the USA and Far East on business and buying chunky paperbacks in Heathrow. There were many thriller genres on the stacked shelves of W H Smith but they were all police, detective, serial killer, legal, pathologist, and forensic scientist thrillers. It seemed no one was writing good financial thrillers. There are 300,000 people who work in the City, so many more who bought and sold shares daily, and I wondered if they too were looking for something different to read. So when I got the time, I started work on my Dell PC at home, wrote some chapters on and off over a two year period, reworked and edited the text, submitted sample chapters to a literary agent and sold Square Mile immediately.
I hope the novel achieves a number of my objectives. I wanted to write a challenging who-dunnit mystery with good pace and many plot twists. I wanted to write about the types of varied characters who work in and around the City. I wanted to explore their interests, ambitions, conflicts and lifestyle. I wanted to expose the inner workings and dark underbelly of the City but in such a way that I never lectured to the reader, but involved them in a mutual discovery. Lastly, I wanted to take the reader on a journey to other locations I had visited to give the novel a truly international breadth. Most of all I wrote a book that I'd like to read!
DUST JACKET :
Monday, 18th March 6.52 am : Jeremy Walker, a director of the City of Londonís most respected global investment bank Steen Odenberg & Co, is discovered in his luxury Wapping penthouse, strangled with his own silk Hermes tie.
Anthony Carlton, a young colleague, is reluctantly drawn into the subsequent police investigation, only to learn that his initial enquiries lead to EPIC, the mysterious multi-million dollar property fund recently launched by the bank.
As Anthony follows the trail of mounting evidence to Europe and on to the Far East, he becomes enmeshed in an international scandal of intricate and horrifying proportions. As he attempts to unravel this finely-woven and ever-expanding web of deceit and greed, Anthony begins to fear for his career, his livelihood and the safety of those he cares about.
click above to buy the large print edition
THE MAIN CHARACTER :
Anthony Carlton works for investment bank Steen Odenberg where he has to know "a call from a put, a currency swap from an interest rate swap, the cable rate from the Swissy rate and an over-the-counter warrant from a listed equity." Carlton is ambitious. Working his way doggedly up the gilded pole, he is almost in awe of the world of high finance. He is as impressed by its impact on the global economy as he is by the stylish dress codes of his colleagues and their six or even seven-figure salaries. When a director of Steen Odenberg is found murdered, Carlton is drawn reluctantly into the police investigation and embarks on a voyage of personal discovery about his own uncritical acceptance of this gold-plated world.
click above to buy the Dutch edition
PROLOGUE : (Copyright 1999)
'Jeremy Ernest Walker, 49, a director of Steen Odenberg, is in his opulent bedroom. A split-level room with expensive lacquered Chinese wall murals, collectable antiques, custom-built furniture and french windows opening onto a well-planted balcony overlooking Butlers Wharf. The ambient bedroom lights remain switched on. Unnecessarily so. His hand-tailored suit and poplin shirt hang on the handle of the walk-in wardrobe that houses the sartorial evidence of his accumulated wealth. Such wealth indeed. If only they all knew.
Highly polished black Church's shoes from New Bond Street and silk socks lie carefully beside the hanging garments, an ivory shoehorn poised at the ready. A pair of gold cufflinks with subtle embossed motifs lie untouched on the bedside table, adjacent to the pair of Gucci metal-rimmed glasses. Each item carefully prepared for the day ahead in the City. Only the seventy-five pound Hermes tie is missing from Jeremy's daily ensemble, already in use. The animal-patterned tie always goes well with the electric-blue shirt.
The tie is knotted tightly around his discoloured neck. Too tightly. The breaking sunlight angles inwards past the partly drawn curtains to rest on his anaemic face. His greying hair is disheveled. Jeremy Ernest Walker lies motionless on the deep-pile carpet. He will not be going to work in Steen Odenberg & Co. today.'
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY :
'A slick, punchy thriller by a banking insider, full of financial know-how.' - Daily Mail
'An entertaining debut with an all-too-believable ending.' - Daily Telegraph
'An insider's account of the pleasure and pain associated with playing with vast amounts of other people's money . . . Kilduff writes with authority . . . He handles the world of high finance and soft-top BMWs with aplomb.' - Irish Times
'An attractively written first novel, whose strength lies in the creation of the bank's atmosphere, and the detailed analysis of financial jiggery-pokery.' - London Evening Standard
'Square Mile is a very auspicious debut written with a combination of highly skilful plotting, rich, plausible detail and sharply defined characters. Kilduff has demonstrated that this is no one-off with an equally adroit follow up in The Dealer. He handles the opaque narrative with real skill, rendering each revelation with maximum force . . . a needle sharp narrative.' - CrimeTime Magazine
'Square Mile offers a complete initiation into the financial City . . . Kilduff's plot is immaculately conceived.' - Law Society Gazette
'Kilduff's own career experience stands him in good stead in a rattling good yarn that must bode well for his creative future.' Irish Independent
'A gripping read. Great pace, exciting, well-researched . . . If you liked John Grisham's The Firm, then you need only know one thing. This is better!' - Accountancy Ireland
'Set in the world of high finance and high flyers in the City, Paul Kilduff paints a detailed and intriguing picture of the players and their environment . . . The most gut-tightening, enthralling tale I have read for a long time.' - Dublin Commuting Times
'Kilduff's prose style, relying on the rapid delivery of short sentences coupled with a wealth of detail, mostly about wealth, and a pacey plot, makes this a thoroughly entertaining and gripping read.' - www.amazon.co.uk