The Darlings by Cristina Alger
A Novel

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Synopsis

A sophisticated page-turner about a wealthy New York family embroiled in a financial scandal with cataclysmic consequences.

Now that he's married to Merrill Darling, daughter of billionaire financier Carter Darling, attorney Paul Ross has grown accustomed to New York society and all of its luxuries: a Park Avenue apartment, weekends in the Hamptons, bespoke suits. When Paul loses his job, Carter offers him the chance to head the legal team at his hedge fund. Thrilled with his good fortune in the midst of the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression, Paul accepts the position.

But Paul's luck is about to shift: a tragic event catapults the Darling family into the media spotlight, a regulatory investigation, and a red-hot scandal with enormous implications for everyone involved. Suddenly, Paul must decide where his loyalties lie-will he save himself while betraying his wife and in-laws or protect the family business at all costs?

Cristina Alger's glittering debut novel interweaves the narratives of the Darling family, two eager SEC attorneys, and a team of journalists all racing to uncover-or cover up-the truth. With echoes of a fictional Too Big to Fail and the novels of Dominick Dunne, The Darlings offers an irresistible glimpse into the highest echelons of New York society-a world seldom seen by outsiders-and a fast-paced thriller of epic proportions.

 

About Cristina Alger

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CRISTINA ALGER received her BA from Harvard College and her JD from New York University Law School. She has worked as an analyst at Goldman, Sachs, & Co. and as an attorney at Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale, & Dorr. Her father, David Alger, was the CEO of Alger Management until his death on September 11, 2001. This is her first novel.
 
Published February 16, 2012 by Penguin Books. 347 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Darlings

Kirkus Reviews

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First-time novelist Alger brings previous careers in investment and law to bear in her financial thriller about a prominent Manhattan family of financiers brought down by scandal months after the stock-market crash.

Feb 02 2012 | Read Full Review of The Darlings: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Two parts Too Big to Fail, one part The Devil Wears Prada, Alger’s debut is taut and compelling. The recession-era Manhattan elite are bruised and a touch less confident than in their heyday, but the

Nov 25 2011 | Read Full Review of The Darlings: A Novel

The New York Times

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It’s about one of those bright and shining New York families who have it all, until they don’t.

Feb 17 2012 | Read Full Review of The Darlings: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Alger expertly evokes both sympathy and contempt for her characters and writes with a polished ease, telling the story of our time (or a particular glittery, corrupt corner of our time) with a mix of ruthlessness and sensitivity.

Nov 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The Darlings: A Novel

BC Books

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While this piece is fictional, I couldn't help but imagine the Darlings as an extension of Bernie Madoff's family, and their crime as an outline for the investment scandal that is still rocking New York City.

Apr 15 2012 | Read Full Review of The Darlings: A Novel

NPR

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Bernie Madoff's investment scandal inspired financial analyst Christina Alger to write a novel based on the personal and financial turmoil created by the collapse. It's called The Darlings, and Alan Cheuse — writing professor at George Mason University — has a review.

Feb 20 2012 | Read Full Review of The Darlings: A Novel

Examiner

The ones who stayed long enough to raise children were the tough ones, the tenacious ones, the goal-oriented ones, the gold-digging ones, the deal-closing ones, the "kill or be killed" ones, the ones who subscribed to the philosophy "whatever it takes."

May 11 2012 | Read Full Review of The Darlings: A Novel

AV Club

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A debut thriller about a sprawling, wealthy family addresses a financial catastrophe lacks depth or worthwhile characters. 

Feb 22 2012 | Read Full Review of The Darlings: A Novel

AV Club

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She thins her plot by using these characters as vehicles for other well-trod musings on the New York experience, including 9/11’s impact and the difficulties of forming meaningful relationships in the cutthroat city.

Feb 22 2012 | Read Full Review of The Darlings: A Novel

RT Book Reviews

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Entertainment Weekly

Forget Gossip Girl: If you really want a peek into the scandalous lives of New York City's elite upper class, Alger's debut novel — set during the financial downturn of 2008 — gets you pretty close.

Feb 24 2012 | Read Full Review of The Darlings: A Novel

USA Today

And so she writes: "The ones who stayed long enough to raise children were the tough ones, the tenacious ones, the goal-oriented ones, the gold-digging ones, the deal-closing ones, the 'kill or be killed' ones, the ones who subscribed to the philosophy 'whatever it takes.'" Alger has what it take...

Feb 15 2012 | Read Full Review of The Darlings: A Novel

Macleans

pragmatic eldest daughter Merrill and her husband, Paul, a North Carolina boy yearning to fit in with the family but faced with a wrenching choice: save his own skin or sacrifice himself for the Darlings, who may be richer than Croesus, but who are tougher and less self-centred than they first ap...

Feb 28 2012 | Read Full Review of The Darlings: A Novel

https://bookpage.com

First-time novelist Cristina Alger, who brings to her task stints at Goldman Sachs and an elite law firm, avoids most of those pitfalls to create a credible, fast-paced story out of the collapse of a Bernie Madoff-like investment scam.

May 19 2016 | Read Full Review of The Darlings: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Thrilled with his good fortune in the midst of the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression, Paul accepts the position.But Paul's luck is about to shift: a tragic event catapults the Darling family into the media spotlight, a regulatory investigation, and a red-hot scandal wi...

Feb 20 2012 | Read Full Review of The Darlings: A Novel

https://lareviewofbooks.org

It’s this complicated mix of associations and emotions, cutting across the different characters in the novel, that makes the references to 9/11 in the novel and their association to the financial crisis, worth reading — even if, as with the connection between McCoy and Lamb that Wolfe’s novel cre...

Nov 13 2013 | Read Full Review of The Darlings: A Novel

Fred Beauford

Victims of Madoff and others affected by the recent financial crises may not be overly interested in the plights of the con artists and schemers, but for the general public (like me), this book gives us some insight into how these things happen, how even the people at the top may not really k...

Feb 04 2013 | Read Full Review of The Darlings: A Novel

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