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Black Fridays Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 18, 2012
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“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
About the Author
More About the Author
Until 2005, Mr. Sears was a Managing Director for two different Wall Street firms, where he worked in the bond market for twenty years and, earlier, in foreign exchange and derivatives. Prior to returning to Columbia University for his MBA, he was, for eight years, a professional actor appearing at the Shakespeare Theatre of Washington (Folger Theatre), Playwright's Theater of Washington, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, The Comedy Stage Co., and, in the course of a single year, every soap opera shot in New York City.
He is married to the artist, Barbara Segal and is the father of two handsome sons. Born in New York City, he lived for more than twenty years on Manhattan's Upper West Side and still misses it every day.
Top Customer Reviews
Soon, Jason gets a call from the head of an investment firm asking him to look into a possible scam. The SEC is on the trail and the head of the firm wants to get ahead of the curve. Of course, what starts off looking like a small scandal quickly mushrooms into a big one. The FBI is involved -- and there's murder and the ex-wants the Kid back and there's a dash of romance with Wanda, a magician's assistant. It's a rich brew.
I couldn't begin to understand the details of the scam but I'm sure it all adds up given the author's expertise and personal experience in the field. What I did understand was that he has managed to craft a highly-enjoyable thriller that makes you care about the protagonist and the Kid and that ratchets up the tension to reach a satisfying conclusion.
The depiction of the autistic child and his father's touching relationship with him is one of the great strengths of his book. I also liked the fact that the hero is in fact more than a little immoral himself. He doesn't have much remorse for his original crime and he doesn't hesitate to try and steal a couple of hundred thousand dollars when he gets the chance -- and ultimately a lot more than that.
There are however some weaknesses too. The southern belle ex-wife is a caricature as are her new man and her Louisiana momma.Read more ›
As he begins to reclaim his professional dignity, Jason also is determined to gain custody from his alcoholic ex-wife. Jason Jr., nicknamed "the Kid", has been diagnosed with autism and is not getting the care he needs. With his ex just as unstable as his son, Jason is shocked to learn that the Kid is locked in a room all day. Risking his parole, Jason flies to Louisiana to retrieve his son. When he returns to New York, son in tow, Jason is forced to reevaluate his life, and learn to live with his unique son.
Meanwhile, Jason's investigation is revealing a larger conspiracy than he ever expected. As he digs deeper into the web of fraud, he attracts the attention of Wall Streets power players as well as agents from the FBI. When he uncovers a system that will certainly rock the entire financial institution, Jason must decide what to do with the information. If he makes the wrong decision, it could cost him his life.
With this excellent debut novel, author Michael Sears enters the thriller genre with a bang. His knowledge of Wall Street brings a unique perspective to the story.Read more ›
But I am not unhappy to see that many people liked it better than I did. I've read many financial thrillers, and I read over 100 novels a year. No Harriet here, but I just didn't get the thrill that so many others did, and that's okay. We won't always agree. I thought that Black Fridays rated in about the middle.
I really enjoyed this book, both for the entertainment value and for the lessons on autism. Reading this novel helped me to better understand the rituals and triggers involved with this condition. The rapidly growing presence of this disorder means that just about everyone knows someone who has to deal with it. Previously cancer was the only disease that affected such a large part of the population. What are humans doing to this planet that causes such dramatic physical changes?
The writing it tight, the perspective unique, and the story downright entertaining. This effort is good enough to win literary awards for best first novel. I look forward to additional work from Michael Sears.
NOTE: MICHAEL SEARS RECEIVES BEST NEW P.I. NOVEL FROM SHAMUS AWARDS 9/20/2013
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First in a most engaging and exciting series, about an ex-swindler from Wall Street, turned investigator, who happens to have a son on the autism spectrum. Must read!Published 23 days ago
I liked this financial mystery, but less because of the plot and action. I actually thought that was a little flat. The writing was crisp, and I liked the first person narrator. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mark
The first in a series is always a crapshoot...this one was great. The following is next on my agenda.Published 2 months ago by Catherine Johnson
Took a couple of chapters but I really got into the characters and the situation. On to the next book in the series...Published 3 months ago by Rita M.
A flawed main character who endears you to himself by discovering his humanity through his love and caring for his son while outwitting the bad guys!Published 4 months ago by Gloria
This was an exciting rollercoaster ride of a book with lots of twists and turns! The main character, Jason Stafford, is complex and honest with himself, acknowledging his mistakes... Read morePublished 4 months ago by ahammerquilts
I really liked this book. I liked it enough to download the next two books in the series. I love Jason. His character is complex yet loving. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Debra Metz
Engaging from page 1. Great story, well told. I'm looking forward to the next in the series. It kept me guessing, which was a plus.Published 5 months ago by Frank
This is a wonderful book full of great, complex characters - with good and bad qualities, who, I think, would surprise themselves with how they act when faced with the situations... Read morePublished 5 months ago by CSR