Synopses & Reviews
From the author of the acclaimed, award-winning debut novel Black Fridays, comes a story of murder, greed, and corruptionand the lengths to which one man will go for his family.
He approached me in the streetbone-thin, gray-bearded, holding out a small envelope. The man said youd give me five bucks for it.” Inside was a one-word message: RUN.
Two years in a federal prison has changed Jason Stafford, is still changing him, but one thing it has taught him as a financial investigator is how to detect a lie. He doesnt think Philip Haley is lying. An engineer on the verge of a biofuel breakthrough, Haley has been indicted for insider trading on his own company, and Stafford believes him when he says hes been set up. Haley does indeed have enemies. He is not a nice man. Doesnt make him a criminal.
It does make him dangerous to be around, though. The deeper Stafford investigates, the more secrets he starts to uncover, secrets people would kill for. And thats exactly what happens. Soon, it is Stafford himself who is under attack and, worse, his familyhis fiancée, his young sonand he is a fugitive, desperately trying to stay one step ahead of both the killers and the law.
"At the start of Sears's impressive first novel, one of the best of a recent crop of financial thrillers, Jason Stafford admits: 'I was the first alumnus from my MBA class to make Managing Director. I was also the first... to go to prison.' A simple accounting error turned into a major felony in effect, he mortgaged his trading portfolio's future to the tune of million, and lost his career, most of his wealth, and his family. Out of prison and back in Manhattan, Stafford takes a short-term consulting gig with a medium-sized boutique firm, Weld Securities, looking into the trading records of a young executive who died under mysterious circumstances. In an emotionally engaging subplot, Stafford attempts to reclaim his five-year-old autistic son from his ex-wife. Sears is terrific at generating momentum and suspense while juggling a convoluted plot and an enormous cast of characters. A former trader himself, he's also good at making the opaque intricacies of the financial markets transparent, even interesting. Wall Street doesn't necessarily need or deserve much sympathy, but this is no screed, and the book is the better for it. Agent: Judith Weber, Sobol Weber Associates. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Sometimes a man can be redeemed. But not in the way he expects.
Jason Stafford is a former Wall Street hotshot who made some bad moves, paid the price with two years in prison, and is now trying to put his life back together. He’s unemployable, until an investment firm asks him to look into possible problems left by a junior trader who died recently in an accident. What he discovers is big – there are problems, all right, the kind that get you killed.
But it’s not his only concern. Stafford has another quest as well: to reclaim his five-year-old son, “the Kid,” from his unstable ex-wife, and then learn just what it means to make a life with him. The things Stafford discovers about himself in the process are every bit as gripping as his investigation, and when the two threads of his life come together – the results are unforgettable.
Black Fridays marks the arrival of a remarkable new writer.
One of Booklist's "Year's Best Crime Novels"
After two years in federal prison, Jason Stafford is no longer welcome on Wall Street. But due to his financial crime expertise, one firm wants him to quietly look for irregularities in the books of one of their junior traders, whose body was just pulled from the Long Island Sound.
Raising an autistic five-year-old alone, Stafford cant refuse the lucrative offer. The job is supposed to last two weeks, tops. But soon hes facing threats and intimidation, and more people are dying. Stafford must fight for his lifewhile struggling to save his son from a different kind of danger
Nominated for the Edgar® Award for Best First Novel
From the author of the extraordinary Edgar-nominated debut novel Black Fridays, a sensational story of murder and financial corruptionand one mans continued search for redemption.
William von Becker ran one of the largest privately held investment banks in North America, until the bottom fell out, and the whole edifice was demonstrated to be a fraud.
After von Becker dies in prison, financial investigator Jason Stafford is hired by his family. There is still a lot of missing money out there, hes told, and they want Stafford to find it before the Feds doand certain other parties, some of whom are nowhere near as scrupulous in their methods. Bad things start happening to the people Stafford talks to. Soon bad things are happening to him as well.
Making it worse, his treacherous ex-wife has come to town, ostensibly to visit their young son. Stafford suspects theres more to it than that, but even he has no idea how much that visit is about to change all their livesand send him off to the next chapter of his life.
About the Author
Michael Sears spent more than twenty years on Wall Street, rising to the position of managing director in the bond trading and underwriting divisions of Paine Webber and, later, Jefferies and Company, before leaving the business in 2005. He lives in Sea Cliff, New York, with his wife, artist Barbara Segal, and is at work on a new novel featuring Jason Stafford and his son.