Jason Stafford had reached a high level of management on Wall Street and was trading in billions of dollars when he made a fatal mistake: He ignored an accounting error that escalated from a minor figure to a fortune larger than the GDP of most countries -- and it almost destroyed an investment bank.
Stafford was sentenced to prison, and his wife divorced him.
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"Black Fridays"By Michael Sears
Putnam, 352 pages, $25.95
Two years later, he is free and looking to regain his reputation. A trader in an investment firm has died, and it appears that several of his accounts have improprieties. Stafford has the perfect background to investigate, and he takes on a consultant role at the firm to uncover the truth.
Author Michael Sears clearly knows his way around the financial world. What makes his debut novel, "Black Fridays," stand out from other financial thrillers is Stafford's devotion to his 5-year-old son, who is severely autistic. His ex-wife demands the child's return, and the emotional roller coaster that Stafford experiences will feel familiar to any parent of a small child.
Although the family dynamic outshines the thriller elements of the novel -- which are also well-done -- "Black Fridays" is definitely worth the investment.