The Crash by Robert Peston

The Crash is a tense political thriller from the author of The Whistleblower. Ten years have gone by and Gil Peck is no longer a newspaper journalist but working for the BBC as business editor. It covers the lead up to and causes of the 2008 financial crash, and exposes greed and corruption at the heart of the banking system. I cannot say that I understood all the financial detail, but it did not matter as I got the general idea. Having been the first to break the story, Gil begins to wonder if he has been set up, who had the most to gain, and how far were they prepared to go to cover up their conspiracy.

It is a skillful blend of fact and fiction with thinly disguised portraits of political and media figures of the time, whose identity will be obvious to anyone who lived through this period in British history – we can only hope they have been much exaggerated for dramatic effect. Nevertheless, it is unflinching in its portrayal of the Oxbridge elite behind it all. The excess and entitlement on display are truly mind-boggling.

The story is told entirely from Gil’s point of view, and he is a much more rounded character in this book as we get a glimpse into his family background and life outside of work. Robert Peston is writing about what he knows, and I was fascinated by the behind-the-scenes details of TV reporting. Gil’s descriptions of his clothes and who designed them added a touch of levity to an otherwise fairly serious narrative. Hopefully, there will be more books featuring Gil Peck in the future. Thanks to Zaffre and NetGalley for a digital copy to review.