Pinot Noir: An International Banking Spy Thriller

A Louise Moscow Novel Book 2

Fiction - Mystery - General
310 Pages
Reviewed on 03/20/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Award-winning author Lorraine Evanoff's highly addictive, suspenseful thrillers are perfect for fans of Erik Larson, Jack Slater and Kathy Reichs.

Former Hollywood finance exec Lorraine Evanoff uses classic mystery storytelling to spin complex tales of international finance with a sexy female heroine. Lorraine's Louise Moscow Novels, FOLIAGE and the newly released PINOT NOIR, are high concept noir thrillers inspired by real-life banking scandals.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite

Lorraine Evanoff’s Pinot Noir is one of the best thrillers I have read in recent times. It is the second installment of a series centered on the character of Louise Moscow, but despite some references to the previous volume, it works as a stand-alone book. Louise is still in witness protection when banker Ekram Almasi and his nurse are murdered. Even though investigators seem to have found the ideal culprit, the case is not as open-and-shut as it might seem. After leaving her “paradise,” Louise starts an investigation that will take her to Monte Carlo, Paris, and Burgundy. The amazing scenario, however, cannot hide a complicated and awful truth.

Evanoff is a fine writer, and she knows how to put every detail of her story in place. Pinot Noir is a remarkably well-developed novel, and its structure reveals the author’s excellent writing skills. Although it is not a short book, you will read it in one sitting. Evanoff’s style is engaging, and the way she reveals the conspiracy makes the story more and more complicated until the incredible end. The characters are vibrant, close to real persons, and the descriptions of the places Louise visits offer a wonderful setting to the story. Moreover, even the parts that are not about the investigation are delightful to read because of their liveliness. It is difficult to find a book that every reader will like, but Pinot Noir seems one of those that have achieved this result. Not surprisingly, I recommend it to every reader who loves spy stories.

Christian Sia

Pinot Noir: An International Banking Spy Thriller is the second book in a series featuring Louise Moscow by Lorraine Evanoff, a story with powerful themes and a strong appeal to fans of murder and mystery, intrigue, and espionage. Louise Moscow has been quiet since her last job with the FBI and the CIA in exposing the corruption in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. When the novel opens, another banking scandal has just happened, one of the worst scandals in history, and there is far more to the billions that are lost. While her father wants her off the grid, Louise feels compelled to step out of the shadows. But how long can she survive with numerous enemies just ready to take their revenge on her?

Apart from investigating the largest banking heist in history, Louise has to help solve the murder of a philanthropist and multibillionaire banker, Ekram M. Almasi. The novel starts with a crisis moment and in the first few pages, the reader gets to know Louise, a woman under witness protection. I loved her headstrong and independent spirit from the very start and knew immediately that I needed to follow her. Lorraine Evanoff's prose is crisp and appealing, highly descriptive and punctuated by intelligently written dialogues. The scenes are focused and the points of view so brilliantly articulated that the entire narrative is cinematic. Pinot Noir: An International Banking Spy Thriller is an utter delight to read and the characters are memorable.

K.C. Finn

Pinot Noir: An International Banking Spy Thriller is a work of espionage fiction and mystery penned by Lorraine Evanoff, which forms the second volume of the Louise Moscow mystery novel series. Set ten years after the events of the first novel, the FBI calls Louise out of witness protection because they need her prowess in the field of finance and banking scandals. This time it’s the harrowing aftermath of the September 11th attacks which acts as a background to the events unfolding, and Louise soon discovers that there’s an unsolved murder to unlock. Billionaire banker and philanthropist Ekram M. Almasi is dead, and the reasoning behind it will be Louise’s biggest mystery yet.

Author Lorraine Evanoff has a real talent for character strength, balancing Louise Moscow out perfectly with a blend of sharp intelligence but also great emotional sensibilities. It’s easy to root for her as her witness protection life is totally uprooted and she’s thrown back into a world she used to know, one which is even more dangerous to return to than before. Evanoff writes her thriller moments with tense and effective language and grammar, keeping an intense pace right up to the revelations which are unveiled. Then at other times, she allows the descriptive and close narration to come through for us to get closer to Louise and the inner workings of her excellent mind, balancing pace and plot with immense talent. Overall, Pinot Noir: An International Banking Spy Thriller is a highly engaging work by a very accomplished writer.

Romuald Dzemo

Pinot Noir: An International Banking Spy Thriller: A Louise Moscow Novel Book 2 by Lorraine Evanoff is a riveting crime thriller with a cunning plot and sophisticated characters. Louise Moscow is still on Witness Protection when the FBI seeks her help in investigating one of the most horrific banking scandals and the murder of Ekram M. Almasi, a multi-billionaire banker and a philanthropist. It has been ten years since she worked with the FBI and the CIA to bring down a bank involved in a major scandal. Now, she is coming back, and at a time that her father, George Moscow, and investigator, Michael, want her off the grid. Her life is in grave danger since she is a “direct witness to criminal behavior by powerful people all over the world.” Can she navigate a world filled with crooks and powerful enemies lurking in the shadows, just waiting for the least opportunity to kill her, and get to the bottom of the crime?

Lorraine Evanoff opens the story with a disturbing scandal in the prologue. One of the leading world banks, the BCCI, is involved in what investigators characterize as the largest financial fraud in history, with as much as $20 billion vanishing from the bank’s books without a trace. Although I never read the first book in this series, the connection with the protagonist was immediate and I loved her character. Louise is a flawed character, an intelligent woman with a curiosity that won’t allow her to stay off the grid and one with valuable historical information. What makes her even more interesting as a character is that she has created many enemies for herself and it is hard to determine who would want her dead. Now she is entrusted with a new mission, the reader is keen on watching her every step. The author demonstrates a unique skill in plot and building tension. Pinot Noir is well-paced and filled with suspenseful moments. A real delight for fans of thrillers with phenomenal characters.