Death by Wall Street

Death by Wall Street

Rampage of the Bulls

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
243 Pages
Reviewed on 05/07/2014
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Theodore J. Cohen, PhD, holds three degrees in the physical sciences from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and has been an engineer and scientist for more than 45 years. From December 1961 through early March 1962, he participated in the 16th Chilean Expedition to the Antarctic. The US Board of Geographic Names in October, 1964, named the geographical feature Cohen Islands, located at 63° 18' S. latitude, 57° 53' W. longitude in the Cape Legoupil area, Antarctica, in his honor. Cold Blood, The Antarctic Murders Trilogy, comprises three novels he wrote based on this expedition. Frozen in Time: Murder at the Bottom of the World (Book I) describes what happened following the robbery of the Banco Central de Chile in Talcahuano in May, 1960. Unfinished Business: Pursuit of an Antarctic Killer (Book II) reveals the events that unfolded between March 1962 and March 1965. End Game: Irrational Acts, Tragic Consequences (Book III), brings the series to a close, revealing the secrets to most but not all of the mysteries surrounding these thrillers.

Dr. Cohen has been an investor for more than 50 years, and recently has focused on investigating and reporting on corruption in US financial institutions and agencies of the US government. His latest novel, Eighth Circle: A Special Place in Hell, brings back NYPD Homicide Detective Louis Martelli, the hero he introduced in Death by Wall Street: Rampage of the Bulls, and who later reprised his role in House of Cards: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Lilith: Demon of the Night, and Night Shadows. Dr. Cohen also authored the novel Full Circle: A Dream Denied, a Vision Fulfilled as well as more than 450 papers, columns, essays, and interviews for the popular, scientific, and technical literature.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite

Death by Wall Street by Dr. Theodore Jerome Cohen is a brilliant work of fiction, constructed on an extensive list of facts which are documented throughout the book. NYPD Homicide Detective Lou Martelli is assigned a case in which the decapitated head of a stock analyst was found impaled on a horn of the Wall Street Bull statue. Reading the newspaper a few days later, Martelli learns of a similar case in Washington D.C., where the head of another victim is found tossed into the lap of a statue in D.C. When a third head is found in New York City, Martelli finally gets a break: a homeless man witnessed the murder. Calling in all the favors he can, coupled with many “I owe you one” promises, Martelli begins piecing together the puzzle, only to learn that the murder victims had been engaged in an incredible game of stock manipulation and corporate sabotage. They were, in fact, culpable in the deaths of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people and in general were just not nice people.

Death by Wall Street is an insightful look at a very real problem today, wrapped within a murder mystery. Dr. Cohen is no stranger to researching background material for his novels, and Death by Wall Street is littered with footnotes linked to true events discovered during his research. With painstaking attention to details and accuracy, Cohen has crafted a unique mystery which should enthrall every reader. His characterizations of Martelli and associates are as believable as your next door neighbor. A masterful blend of fact and fiction, Death by Wall Street will be with you for a long, long time. I would be remiss if I didn’t urge you to get your copy now.

Gary Sorkin

For Pacific Book Review

I must confess I like the writing style of Theodore Jerome Cohen, so personally Death by Wall Street: Rampage of the Bulls paged like a gift from a friend. The reasons I like his style so much, aside from his exceptional character development, sophisticated plot machinations and superb use of suspense, is Ted Cohen uses many footnotes; offering Internet links, or additional insight to the material written. Dealing with a factious story and having the juxtaposition of factual detail as current web links seems to bring a heightened sense of authenticity and credibility to his writing. Furthermore, Ted Cohen is a brilliant person with a cache of knowledge; one feels as if he’s educating the reader in a humble way as he unfolds his storyline. He enlightens the reader to little known nuances of the industry that have come to his attention throughout his years of experience and his countless hours of research.

In Death by Wall Street, Theodore Cohen begins by revealing a grotesque murder; a nauseous sight of a decapitated head impaled on the horns of the famous Charging Bull bronze sculpture in the financial district of NYC -- a grim spectacle analogous to the scene along the path leading to Count Dracula’s castle. The case is turned over to homicide detective specialist Lou Martelli, a street smart cop that is quoted, “If you live long enough, you get to see everything.” As detective Martelli begins to dig into the surrounding circumstances, the reader is educated as to the inner workings of Wall Street trading, the FDA’s approval techniques for new pharmaceuticals, and the manipulation of the stock market for personal gain, irrespective of those that may die as a consequence.

Richard R. Blake

For Reader Views

Theodore Jerome Cohen has chosen to use the medium of the novel as a platform to express his repugnance for the brazen manipulation of the stock market in the field of biotechnology. As a result of the collusion among pharmaceutical developers, unscrupulous doctors, Wall Street stock analysts and inaction by government agencies, the lives of innocent victims are put jeopardy. “Death by Wall Street” is a work of fiction. The story is based upon real events.

Three separate murders appear to be related because the heads of the victims were severed and left to be discovered in prominent places. One is found pinned to the horn of the bronze sculpture “The Charging Bull” in Bowling Green Park near Wall Street. Another is left in the lap of Robert Aitken’s statue “Future” at Federal Triangle on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. The final of the trio is propped against the window on the driver’s side of his black Mercedes-Benz, which is parked near the delivery dock behind the Delacourt Theater in Central Park.

The public, the mayor’s office, and the chief of police are all clamoring for results, a quick arrest, and closure to these heinous crimes. Feeling “strangled” himself, Homicide Detective Louis Martelli of the NYPD is forced to think outside the box to solve the case.

Cohen proves to have an innate ability to instill believability in his fictional characters. Steve Jacobs, John Williamson, and Tricia Fournier represent the various levels of stock market analysts. They demonstrate the corruption, greed and lack of ethics often resulting from affluence.

Dr. Broussard is the embodiment of the persona without moral fiber. Ruthless and unprincipled, he smears the reputation of all his peers in the medical profession.

Detective Martelli and his support team of experts in crime detection, although somewhat devious on occasion, are examples of the finest in character, dedication, and loyalty to public service.

I especially appreciate Cohen’s strong characterizations and attention to detail. I admire his boldness to speak out with a keen sense conviction on the unethical practices flagrant in industry and government today.

Detailed footnotes document instances where facts are introduced into the fictional account. Important background information on Wall Street practices, drug research, and investigative procedures added to my personal enjoyment of Cohen’s writing style. This is a book that should be added to the reading list of college and university classes in ethics, political science, finance, business, law, science, and medicine.

“Death by Wall Street: The Rampage of the Bulls” will be enjoyed by mystery readers who enjoy matching wits with the protagonist and by concerned citizens eager to see reformation in steps to enforce the laws regulating US financial markets and the nation’s health care practices.

…Cutting edge reporting, important insight, timely, and relevant… “Death by Wall Street: Rampage of the Bulls” is destined to firmly establish Theodore Jerome Cohen as a fresh voice in literary journalism

Deb Fowler

For Feathered Quill Book Reviews

Arturo Di Modica probably never in a million years would have expected such a macabre addition to his sculpture, the Bowling Green Bull, and neither did Homicide Detective-Specialist, Lou Martelli. The cobbled bricks below the sculpture caught the droplets of blood dripping from the severed head of an unknown man who later proved to be that of John Williamson, a senior financial analyst from Bartlett, Cline, and Stephenson. The bull’s left horn held the head aloft so all approaching the Financial District might see him at sunrise, the last sunrise Williamson’s unseeing eyes would ever behold. Martelli, who approached the scene, was no stranger to death and destruction and, as an Iraq vet, was able to keep his emotions in check. His prosthetic leg was testament to that fact, but another seasoned vet of a different sort of war altogether was already on the scene.

For Michael Antonetti, Deputy Coroner, it may have been just the start of another day, but even he had to admit this was a weird case. Bagging evidence of this sort was, at the very least, distasteful. On one level it was quite apropos as Wall Street, the ‘Street,’ was “home to the oligarchs who raped and pillaged Main Street while awarding themselves outrageous salaries and stock options, their ‘rewards’ for having cheated, swindled, and defrauded the Middle Class of its savings and retirement funds.” (pg. 3) Antonelli pointed out a possible friend of the vic, who was adding some of his own bodily fluids to the streets of Manhattan, and soon the wheels of Martelli’s mind would begin to turn when he began to interview Steve Jacobs. Blood and vomit were no way to start anyone’s day, but it was what he’d signed up for.

Lou, as most people called him, listened as hints of something more insidious were interwoven with Jacobs’ tale as were the expected tidbits that gave a glimpse into the personality of that “arrogant sonofabitch,” who was now history. Jacobs began to spill a tale of stock manipulation in the biotech field that if it were true would not only have sent stocks tumbling, but would have impacted the lives of millions. HerDeciMax was a drug in the forefront to cure breast cancer, but that sonofabitch squelched the stock, the monies from which would have completed the medical staging. “You can make more money betting against a biotech company succeeding than on the possibility it will bring a product to market.” (pg. 14) Jacobs gave Lou more than a running start in this case, but soon there were more heads rolling.

Dr. Paul K. Broussard, oncologist and a consultant to the National Cancer Institute, who suffered the same fate as Williamson, was found “in the lap of Robert Aiken’s stature Future” in DC. The MO was the same and the Capitol Hill Police probably had someone puking up a storm down there. They weren’t NYC cops and weren’t used to the oddball stuff. Missy Dugan, a Principal IT Specialist had given him two numbers from a license plate from Iowa. A ‘2’ and a lucky ‘7’ weren’t much to go on. Someone was onto the salty, seasoned detective. “I need the e-mail server cleansed of all e-mails sent by, or to, John Williamson. Delete them! Make him disappear. Erase any sign that the man ever existed ….” (pg. 80) Why would Wall Street futz with the lives of the innocent? Was someone trying to exact revenge for the Berranger biotech fiasco? Would Lou be able to find the perp before another head rolled?

A simple, childish connect the dots exercise would change this fictional treatise on the seedy Wall Street manipulation of critical biotech stock into an explosive exposé.

Naturally it would be an exposé that would reveal the unethical, murderous practices carried out beneath our very noses while the SEC and the FDA look the other way.
Seldom do we find ourselves rooting for the perpetrator of such heinous murders, yet anyone reading this novel will quickly discover some modicum of sympathy for him.

This is an excellent police procedural, yet I quickly sensed that the intent of the author was not to introduce a series with Lou Martelli at the forefront, but rather to use this book as a vehicle for his ‘theory’ of devious dealings in the Wall Street Financial District. The delicate balance between churning out information on the role of Wall Street and its dealings with the biotechnology industry and the presentation of a murder mystery was quite well done. This is the type of work that actually leaves one with a few more unanswered mysteries that even Lou Martelli couldn’t solve. Have you or any of your loved ones been a victim of Wall Street? Perhaps you’ll never know.

Quill says: If you want the real scoop on the insidious dealings of Wall Street vs. the biotech industry, you need only follow Detective Lou Martelli as he unravels the threads of death and injustice as only a NYC cop can do!