Reviewed by Joanne Lakomski

60 Miles from Salt Water introduced me to Bob Lane, author Bill Minot’s main character. Bob is a successful investor living the life of wealth and privilege, beachside in Malibu. He is in a deepening relationship with Joanna down the beach and in occasional contact with friends with whom he went through school: Billy and Jimmy. They are both on the East Coast and successful in their careers. Hockey had been their shared sport in prep school and then college.

Bob is a happy man – until he has visits from the FBI and calls from the IRS. Something is amiss in his golden world.

At 186 pages, 60 Miles from Salt Water is a very fast read. The author’s reliance upon the reader to fill in the blanks of his characters and details of the story allows its brevity. Using my assumptions about the wealthy elite, I colored in the sketches the author provides around prep school friendships that last for years, the trust engendered as the ‘haves’ generate money together, and the risks the innocent have of getting sucked in by the power elite. I felt as though I participated in the creation of the story!

The author’s depiction of Bob seems to me to be the fantasy life of a successful heterosexual American man. Bob awakens and steps outside his Malibu house and swims in the ocean. Bob has well-developed pecs and abs, lots of money, a sexually- adventurous, smart, and beautiful girlfriend (not pressuring him for commitment), and a stunning and capable female assistant who shares work-related information with him by talking dirty:

“He loved her early morning reports. Always accurate, on target, and filthy. Just what the doctor ordered.”

I really liked the title of this book. I found the sub-heading to be more pertinent to the story line: A Tale of Wall Street Lies, Lust and Redemption. I read about the lies and the lust – I missed the redemption. Redemption might have helped me care about the characters. Instead, they just seemed a bit embarrassed that they were stupid. I wonder, is this an accurate portrayal of those who are working on Wall Street?

I hope not.

Rating: 1.5/5

Joanne is an organization development and human resources professional with a business background living in Ohio. She has lived in Europe, Africa (including her Peace Corps service in South Africa), and arround the United States. She loves to plays volleyball, read, write, and has a cat named Ender.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Newman Communications. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.