In this debut novel, a rising political figure is suddenly found dead.
New York Attorney General Reardon Henry makes a name for himself prosecuting malfeasant banks. In 2008, as the contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton becomes increasingly close, Henry is considered the “dark horse candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination.” But his star plummets as meteorically as its astonishing rise—he’s found dead in a New York City hotel, apparently the result of suicide by Viagra overdose. Randy Anderson is in charge of government investigations for a prominent forensics accounting firm and is tasked with scrutinizing Henry’s financial history, hunting for any alarming irregularities that could cast a pall of doubt on the circumstances of his death. Predictably, Randy discovers a slew of anomalies: a pattern of increasingly large cash withdrawals from a bank, wire transfers from his campaign account to his personal one, and sizable electronic transfers of funds to an offshore account. These could be conventionally interpreted as signposts that Henry was the victim of extortion, but Randy is concerned about the clumsiness of it all. Why would someone as financially sophisticated as Henry so incompetently fail to cover his tracks? Randy inadvertently leaks his misgivings about the case, and the resultant media storm compels his company to begrudgingly encourage him to investigate further. Author Anderson produces a captivatingly plausible story that combines a dramatic murder mystery with a financial thriller. The protagonist is made of layers of complexity: Randy’s a touch broken, addled with a coke habit and an affinity for hookers, and beaten down by disappointment. But he’s also capable of being stirred to action by moral principle and remains razor sharp. The deeper he digs, the more Henry’s death looks less like a suicide and more like a politically motivated murder: “The people I’m up against now have no fear of the law. They assassinated a prominent government official. If these people decide that I’m getting too close to them, I could wake up one morning on the wrong side of the grass.”
An intricate tale that mixes an engrossing mystery with a perceptive look at the 2008 financial crisis.