Sophisticated sleuth Jason Stafford gets drawn into a mysterious corporate takeover plot in Sears’ (Long Way Down, 2015, etc.) latest high-finance thriller.
During a slow office day, Stafford notices the firm he works for has been subject to a run of low-return “penny trades,” all of which trace to the same rural address. All he finds at the location are a field of trucks and a herd of charging buffalo, which he must escape on foot. Before Stafford can discover the significance of the trades, his trouble escalates: the firm wants him out, a shady lawyer tries to put him back in jail for a previous insider trading charge, and hired thugs pursue him in a near-fatal chase on the Long Island Expressway. Now his only option is to become a protected witness, but while in custody, his autistic son, known as The Kid, is abducted; this prompts yet another potentially deadly chase. Once he unravels an impending hostile takeover, he employs some complex negotiations to draw out the perpetrators. As usual in this series, Sears alternates high-stakes action sequences—which show his hero to be in improbably great physical shape—with slower-paced boardroom scenes that are often highly technical. While the chases are fun, the financial action may leave the reader as confused as Stafford sometimes gets himself.
You don’t need a background in economics to get drawn into this thriller, but it probably helps.