“...It is the author's insight into
the complexities of the business that gives his novel so much
life. And he can write... Yes, he has a winner here.”
The New York Times
“...an exemplary financial thriller – Free To Trade – which
has been sold to 31 countries around the world, including Estonia,
Indonesia, Korea and Russia...”
“Ridpath can write. His prose is clear
and supple with something of a Dick Francis in it.”
New York Times Book Review
Paul Murray is a junior bond trader. New to the job, he’s keen to make a good impression – but how far does he have to go? When the corpse of Debbie Chater, a vivacious colleague, is found floating in the Thames, Paul’s world is turned upside down. And when his crusade for an explanation results in his being framed for murder, accused of insider trading and left to find twenty million dollars by lunchtime, Paul’s got to find some answers – fast – before someone else makes a killing.
Writing Free To Trade…
Free To Trade was my first book. It grew out of a writing exercise I set myself, which was to write the first chapter of a novel. I took a real-life event – taking a major position in a new bond issue which then went wrong – and exaggerated it wildly. After a couple of pages I was hooked. Rather than try some short stories as I had originally planned, I decided to continue with the novel.
I wanted to write a thriller set in the financial markets. I have always admired Dick Francis, and I wanted to “do a Dick Francis” on the City. It is a great background for a thriller. There is good and bad and shades of grey, and you never know whom you can trust.
I wrote and rewrote Free To Trade over a period of four years. My first draft was amateurish, naturally, but I slowly learned about writing, and the book got better and better. I am sure that it was the constant reworking of one book, rather than writing several, which ensured that it was eventually published.
I sent the manuscript in to a list of agents. One of them, Carole Blake, read the first two chapters, and liked them. She then set up an auction between five publishers in London, which was eventually won by Heinemann, for a figure which was much higher than my wildest expectations. Free to Trade was published in the spring of 1995 and reached number two in the best seller lists for eight weeks. The book has subsequently been published in 32 languages.
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