A young Washington, D.C., attorney who inherited his con man father's skills and love of risk is forced under pain of death to steal trading secrets worth billions from the Federal Reserve Bank.
Mike Ford may be a Harvard Law graduate, but he never learns. In Quirk's previous novel, The 500 (2012), he got in murderously over his head spying on influential congressmen for a life-altering payday. In this new book, a brutal schemer threatens to kill Mike and his brother, Jack, a chronic screw-up on the verge of landing in prison like their old man, unless Mike breaks into the D.C. office that issues billion-dollar trading directives to the Fed. When, on the eve of his engagement party, Mike starts offering phony excuses for his sudden disappearances, he angers his fiancee, Annie, one of the spoils of The 500. Her snooty British father, who runs a shadowy hedge fund, has never liked him. Pulling stunts like bursting into a social gathering and threatening a man with a knife doesn't smooth tensions with her. After enduring grueling torture, Mike applies his considerable skills to the heist, including picking supposedly impenetrable locks, cracking security systems and setting up his own surveillance. He also sets traps for the bad guys—for whom, he increasingly suspects, Jack is working. There's enough action for three thrillers and plenty of twists and turns. But the shaky plot, which revolves around Mike's trust-him, don't-trust-him feelings toward his brother, quickly becomes tiresome. Mike's cardboard personality ensures that the book will fail to involve the reader more than superficially.
A fast-paced but emotionally empty follow-up to The 500.