2 out of 4 stars
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Grant’s Fine Dining in New York City is a five-star restaurant and a great place to work. Yet, the seven friends employed by the establishment dream of grander things. Each young man has overcome childhood struggles and learned to face life’s challenges as they come. Now they plan to pool their resources and take a chance at making their financial dreams come true. Using their skills, they gather information and make investments in the stock market. When they overhear a murder plot, they must put their plans on hold. But stopping a murder may place their own lives on the line. How will they get themselves out of this mess? And will they ever be able to get their dreams back on track?
There were several things to like about Making Money by Mark Trahan. First of all, the novella was a quick and entertaining read. At just over 50 pages, the book’s plot was sweet and simple, with all loose ends tied up nicely. The author provided compelling background stories for each of the seven friends involved, and there was a decent amount of suspense to keep the reader engaged.
Unfortunately, the sheer number of characters in such a short book made the seven friends feel relatively flat. All seven unanimously agreed on everything, making them feel like one character. There were numerous names and details to keep track of between the protagonists, antagonists, and side character roles, which felt like a lot of information for a straightforward plot. In addition, the antagonists used clichéd and predictable dialogue and didn’t pose much intimidation despite their significant threats. The author missed opportunities to enrich the reading experience through increased character conflict and adding details from the story’s setting in the early 1980s. In the end, I didn’t get the sense that there was much character growth or lessons learned, which is something I like to get out of a short story.
I also noticed that the author changed tenses randomly throughout the book and more frequently through the final chapter when explaining the outcome for each character. I found more than ten proofreading errors, not counting the verb tense issues at the end of the book. Because of these editing issues and lack of a profound or unique conclusion, I give Making Money 2 out of 4 stars.
I still recommend this book to readers who enjoy short standalone stories. This author told a good story that included some vigilante justice, suspense, and a conclusive ending. Making Money may also be a good choice if you’re looking for a tale with some Ocean’s Eleven vibes or stories that involve financial risk.
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