When Basis Ventures venture capitalist Ted Valmont is belatedly informed that the Chief Scientist of NeuroStimix—a biotech firm in which he has invested—is missing, it's not just business, it's personal.
Not only is the scientist an old school chum, but his disappearance jeopardizes the development of NeuroStimix's most important product: a device intended to aid spinal cord injury victims. Since Valmont's twin brother, Tim, was paralyzed in a college diving accident, finding the scientist and getting him back into harness is of the utmost importance to both brothers.
Valmont engages August Riordan to assist in the search and the men soon discover that the disappearance is part of a larger conspiracy to use NeuroStimix technology for perverse applications. Terrorism. Prostitution. Slave labor. These are just the beginning. And when a beautiful, mysterious young woman comes onto the scene, it's impossible to say whether the technology will provide the ultimate means to save them all or be the catalyst for tortuous, self-inflicted deaths...
Reviews and Recognitions
Cover story with novel excerpt, Silicon Valley Metro, 10/16/03.
"If you laid all the boring Silicon Valley authors end-to-end it would be a good thing. But they still wouldn't amount to half the insight Coggins lays down in his adventurous novel. Fast cars, nymphomaniac rich kids, billionaires with short attention spans and long money: a truer picture of Silicon Valley can't be found. In a world transformed through technology-driven change, we need new heroes, a new James Bond—Ted Valmont is it."
"Coggins is … deftly using the tropes of classic private-eye fiction to give readers a cold, delightfully nasty look at the venture capitalists who rode to fame and glory on the tech boom. His eye is sharp and the details are crisp … From the boardrooms of Palo Alto to the wineries of Napa, Vulture Capital gives us Northern California in the 21st century, as noir as it ever was …
"Po Bronson, for all his talents, did not catch the Valley's entrepreneurial/venture capital lifeblood in The First Twenty Million Is Always the Hardest as unerringly as Coggins does in Vulture Capital …
"A trip through the dark satanic mills of venture capital with Chandler or Hammett as tour guide."
"[D]ry ice sarcasm … and plenty of nasty chuckles in route."
—Wall Street Journal
"Peppered with local landmarks and tech in-jokes, Vulture Capital exposes the seamy underside of venture capital, populated by back-stabbing partners, corrupt CEOs and nasty funding boards."
—Silicon Valley Metro
"Coggins has a talent for penning credible, often clever dialogue, and some of his more cynical remarks and observations about modern society might reduce a nun to gales of laughter."
"[T]ruly brings the California private eye novel into the 21st century."
—What Do I Read Next?, Gale Group
"Vulture Capital is another winner ... [S]trong recommendation."
—Deadly Pleasures Magazine
"Vulture Capital is a well executed, slightly twisted and weird, but completely believable story about the dark side of Silicon Valley's start-up community."
—I Love a Mystery