In this richly suspenseful second novel, author David Liss once again travels back in time to a crucial moment in cultural and financial history. His destination: Amsterdam, 1659 - a mysterious world of trade populated by schemers and rogues, where deception rules the day.
On the world's first commodities exchange, fortunes are won and lost in an instant. Miguel Lienzo, a sharp-witted trader in the city's close-knit community of Portuguese Jews, knows this only too well. Once among the city's most envied merchants, Miguel has lost everything in a sudden shift in the sugar markets. Now, impoverished and humiliated, living on the charity of his petty younger brother, Miguel must find a way to restore his wealth and reputation.
Miguel enters into a partnership with a seductive Dutchwoman who offers him one last chance at success - a daring plot to corner the market of an astonishing new commodity called "coffee." To succeed, Miguel must risk everything he values and test the limits of his commercial guile, facing not only the chaos of the markets and the greed of his competitors, but also a powerful enemy who will stop at nothing to see him ruined. Miguel will learn that among Amsterdam's ruthless businessmen, betrayal lurks everywhere, and even friends hide secret agendas.
©2003 David Liss; (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc.; Published in arrangement with Random House Audio Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.