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.
“Sears is terrific at generating momentum and suspense” – Publishers Weekly
“This stunning first novel…is one of the year’s finest crime debuts. The writing is fresh and vivid…[and] the book is thrilling and haunting at once.” – Booklist
“Exciting and compelling” – Wall Street Journal
“Author Michael Sears clearly knows his way around the financial world. What makes his debut novel, Black Fridays, stand out from other financial thrillers s Stafford’s devotion to his 5-year-old son, who is severely autistic…Black Fridays is definitely worth the investment.” – Associated Press
“It’s been awhile since I’ve read a pop thriller so immediately captivating…[and I am] anxiously waiting for Sears’ next book.” – Dallas Morning News
“A Great read. It’s also a window into the fascinating slice of Wall Street…Black Fridays is a book you’ll enjoy and remember.” – Fortune.com
“Black Fridays is the real deal: a compelling, beautifully written thriller offering a fascinating insider’s view of corruption in high places.” –Jonathan Kellerman
"One of the best books I've read this year -- a novel for people who like thought with their thrills. No cartoons here -- you feel that you're really beginning to understand the workings of the crazy Wall Street underworld. Jason Stafford is a cool, edgy character who will do almost anything for money, and will do anything to protect his young autistic son. By the end of the book, so will you." –John Sandford
"Extraordinary! Michael Sears has a knack for completely complicated, thoroughly likable characters caught up in a deadly web of lies, greed, and financial corruption. Never has Wall Street been so interesting and so dangerous." –Lisa Gardner
"Black Fridays has it all: superb writing, a riveting plot, and a hero I'm still thinking about days afterwards. A must read!" –Tess Gerritsen
"Black Fridays is a taut and compelling thriller, a vivid story of sleaze beneath the slick surface of Wall Street. But what sets the book apart, and gives it its heart, is Jason Stafford's quest to reclaim his life and make a home with his autistic son. Stafford's voice really grabbed me -- Michael Sears has got the goods. Gripping.” –Meg Gardiner
"An exciting and fascinating tale of big money and even bigger crime, an insider's glimpse into a world where fortunes can be made or lost at the click of a button and the stakes can be life and death. More than a gripping procedural, it's a moving ,deeply human story." –Joseph Finder
"Jason Stafford is a totally endearing and winning protagonist. Michael Sears has a permanent place in my portfolio and in my heart." –Jennifer Belle, bestselling author of High Maintenance and The Seven Year Bitch
"A riveting book. Black Fridays is required reading for anyone who wants a great modern thriller -- and anyone who wants to know how a bunch of obscure, arrogant, cranked-up financial whiz kids can bring an economy to its knees. So timely it's scary." –Tim Hallinan, Edgar-nominated author of The Queen of Patpong and The Fear Artist
“An exciting and fascinating tale of big money and even bigger crime.”—Joseph Finder
“One of the best books Ive read this year.”—John Sandford
“One of the year's finest crime debuts.”—Booklist
“Immediately captivating.”—The Dallas Morning News
“Never has Wall Street been so interesting and so dangerous.”—Lisa Gardner
“Sears does the near impossible in this high-finance thriller: He turns a Wall Street executive, whos just served jail time for fudging figures, into a sympathetic character.”—Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Mortal Bonds
and#8220;Staffordand#160;is a cool, edgy character.and#8221;and#8212;John Sandford
and#8220;A hero I'm still thinking about days afterward.and#8221;and#8212;Tess Gerritsen
and#8220;A twisty tale of greedand#8230;
Praise for Long Way Down
“As soon as Stafford tears into his new assignment, a buzz starts that wont let go. The sequence of lies and betrayals that constitute the plot are revealed in action scenes and confrontational dialogue with wry undercurrents, sort of Ian Fleming by way of Woody Allen…the tension and suspense are genuine and gripping, as is the view of a world where billionaires, like drug cartels, have hit squads.” — Booklist
“It is not a stretch to say that this will be one of the best thrillers of 2015. The story has a touch of kindness and love between a parent who is struggling to do good for his autistic child, as well as twists and turns based on absolute greed and corruption, making this a thriller that will be unforgettable to suspense fans everywhere.” — Suspense Magazine
"Sears is at his best explaining financial wrongdoing, and Stafford is a fine and fully rounded protagonist." — Publishers Weekly
Praise for Mortal Bonds
“A twisty tale of greed, double-crossing and family bonds both good and very, very bad.
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
Ex-Wall Street trader, ex-con, and devoted father to an autistic son, Jason Stafford first appeared in Black Fridays, and#147;one of the yearand#8217;s finest crime debutsand#8221; (Booklist).and#160;Now, in Mortal Bonds, he goes to work for the wealthy family of a financial criminaland#133;
William von Beckerand#8217;s multibillion-dollar fund was limited to only the luckiest investors. Or so they thought.
After the house of cards collapses and the disgraced von Becker commits suicide in prison, his family asks Jason Stafford to find out where the money isand#151;and who is targeting them with attempted kidnappings. There are plenty of angry suspects to take a look at. But with roughly three billion of von Beckerand#8217;s ill-gotten dollars floating around somewhere, there are other interested parties as well. Theyand#8217;re determined. Theyand#8217;re powerful. And theyand#8217;re not nearly as polite as the Fedsand#133;
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.