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‘The Girl from Home’ is a solid economic thriller

“The Girl from Home”

By Adam Mitzner

Gallery (336 pages, $26)

The recent economic downturn -- and financial scandals -- have also ushered in a new wave of economic thrillers in which hedge funds and stock trading provide a background for more dastardly deeds.

Adam Mitzner wisely uses this background as a start to explore the maturation of a selfish, vain man who eventually understands what matters more than money or a flashy car in “The Girl from Home.”

Hedge fund manager Jonathan Caine is one of those “masters of the universe” so prevalent in books and film. His mantra “I want what I want” has brought him a high-profile job, a multimillion-dollar apartment and a beautiful, if vapid, wife. But all that comes crashing down when Jonathan is caught in a securities fraud scheme. The reality hits Jonathan hard -- for all his high living he really has no money. His credit line and accounts are controlled by his firm, which also holds the lease on that spiffy Bentley. Without a job, or a home, Jonathan returns to his hometown of East Carlisle, New Jersey, to care for his ailing father. While there, he impulsively attends his 25th high school reunion, where he strikes up a friendship with former prom queen Jackie Williams. She’s in a loveless marriage with the alcoholic, violent Rick, the former high school quarterback. (TNS)