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The Shell Collector by Robert Lyons - Book Tour

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The Shell Collector by Robert Lyons

Summary: 1973: the year of the oil crisis, the secondary banking collapse, the three day working week and the collapse of the stock market. In a riotous ride through the City of London we meet the characters and events that filled the social and City pages of the press in that roller-coaster year.

Guy Magnus, an ambitious young share dealer, makes a daring takeover bid in the face of opposition from the City Establishment. Will he follow their rules, or his own: never to fall in love with a deal? Will he come to repent his challenge to the powers-that-be? Is Guy’s story fiction or fact? Was a Norfolk Broads canal boat really moored in the marina of Monte Carlo? Did a Henry Moore sculpture really become the most expensive work of art in the world? And did a bet for a lunch at Maxim’s for the first to make a million, Guy or his friend and rival Harry Griffin, bring a merchant bank to the verge of collapse?

THE SHELL COLLECTOR tells a cautionary tale of the City when its buccaneering spirit was at a peak. Whether true or false, it is never less than entertaining.

Information about the Book
Title: The Shell Collector
Author: Robert Lyons
Release Date: 26th September 2019
Genre: Literary Fiction
Page Count: 340
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

The way Harry Griffin recalled it the first time the Inspectors asked him, he might possibly have been in the south of France back in the summer of 1973; but even if he had perchance happened to be there, to the best of his knowledge he certainly hadn’t met Guy Magnus. When the Inspectors pressed him further, Harry gave his solemn assurance that even if their paths had happened to cross briefly – and this wasn’t to be taken as an admission that they had – they definitely hadn’t discussed Britton Trust. 
His interrogators then put to him that Guy Magnus had told his own lawyer he had bought shares in Britton Trust that July on the recommendation of his old chum Harry Griffin. 
Not so, Harry protested. Their relationship was by no means as friendly as Magnus implied. Guy had most likely been motivated by envy that a company in which Harry was a major shareholder was doing so well. He probably wanted to teach him a lesson. 
How so? asked Harry’s interrogators. 
By taking Britton Trust over, of course, Harry replied, as if to ask, how else? 
If Harry’s replies seemed less than candid, he thought it only fair to take into account that he was being put at a considerable disadvantage, being unfairly outnumbered as well as unreasonably victimised. For the Board of Trade had seen fit to appoint a distinguished Queen’s Counsel and a leading City accountant to carry out an investigation into the affairs of Britton Trust, and these members of the great and the good seemed to think that Harry Griffin could and should assist them in their task. It ran counter to the principles of natural justice, Harry told himself, to have to score his runs without first being told where the opposition had placed its fielders. Obliged to respond to a pretty unsporting line of questioning, in which the more detailed his reply the more penetrating the next question turned out to be, his eyes had sought inspiration from the mahogany bookshelves of the QC’s Inner Temple chambers, only to find them ominously lined with ranks of leather-bound volumes of the Statutes of the Realm. In the clammy air of an Indian summer heatwave, rivulets of perspiration trickled down his wellfed cheeks, making it increasingly difficult for him to sustain his habitual ‘would-I-ever-do-such-a-thing?’ expression. Under such adverse conditions the memory was apt to play one awful tricks, he excused himself. 
Perhaps due to the cooler weather, by the time he next met the Inspectors, Harry’s powers of recall had made a miraculous recovery. He realised he had been in the south of France that July after all, and though more than two years had gone by, he did seem to recollect a chance meeting with Guy Magnus. But of one thing he remained sure: the subject of Britton Trust had never come up; and even if it had, Magnus had been the last person he would have wished to own shares in so prestigious a company. 

Author Information
Born in Leeds and educated at Rugby School and Oxford University, Robert Lyons spent seventeen years working for retailing conglomerate UDS Group plc., starting as a door-to door credit salesman in Glasgow before rising to run the parent company’s property management and development operations at its London head office. In 1974, he spent three months at the Harvard Business School on its Program for Management Development. On returning to London, he was appointed to the Group board, and to the board of Allders Department Stores, of which he became chairman in 1979. In 1983 the UDS Group was taken over by Hanson Trust plc, and Lyons left corporate life behind to move into property investment. Married with two children and six grandchildren, Lyons has lived in Highgate, north London, since 1968..

Tour Schedule

Monday 23rd September

Tuesday 24th September

Wednesday 25th September
Thursday 26th September

Friday 27th September

Saturday 28th September

Monday 30th September

Tuesday 1st October

Wednesday 2nd October

Thursday 3rd October

Friday 4th October

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