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Black Fridays (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

If you were to ask what impels me to pick up a debut novel I’d likely give you a variety of reasons; depending on the moment, it could be attributed to planet alignment, a recommendation from a fellow bookworm, eye-catching cover art, or my insatiable curiosity upon reading the synopsis on the back cover. In this case, it was the back cover that tweaked my interest.

Jason Stafford doesn’t sound like your typical thriller hero. After serving two years in prison for illegal trading practices he is now concentrating on gaining custody of his autistic son. Seems rather bland until you throw in his current consulting job at a high profile firm, where he is asked to audit the trades of a junior partner who has died in an accident. Or was it an accident? The further Jason digs into the trading history, the more questions and layers of cover ups emerge, all the while Jason is trying to cope with a completely new lifestyle as he attempts to bond with his son.

Michael Sears writes passionately about Wall Street trading and gives the reader a small window into what goes on behind the scenes without boring or making it hard to grasp for the common reader. I, for one, am uninterested in how it works, but for the purpose of the story I was able to follow along and grasp the important aspects that made it so personal to the protagonist. And Jason is a guy I found myself rooting for. From someone who seemed to have the world on a platter, to a guy struggling to put his life back together, we watch a determined individual try to make sense of the craziness around him and discover what matters most.

This is an enjoyable read and an author to watch in the future.

— Special Guest

October 2012 Indie Next List

“This is not just an inside look at Wall Street but also a heartbreaking look at a father's unconditional love for a son afflicted by autism. Jason Stafford has paid the ultimate price for cheating as a trader on Wall Street -- two years in prison. Recently released, he is determined to reclaim his life and the life of his son, but his first job may be his last as he is asked to look into the trades of a man who died in a boating accident. Or was it murder? Exceptional writing, engaging characters, and a plot both complicated and fascinating. I look forward to the sequel!”
— Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI


Sometimes a man can be redeemed. But not in the way he expects.

Jason Stafford is a former Wall Street hotshot who made some bad moves, paid the price with two years in prison, and is now trying to put his life back together. He’s unemployable, until an investment firm asks him to look into possible problems left by a junior trader who died recently in an accident. What he discovers is big – there are problems, all right, the kind that get you killed.

But it’s not his only concern. Stafford has another quest as well: to reclaim his five-year-old son, “the Kid,” from his unstable ex-wife, and then learn just what it means to make a life with him. The things Stafford discovers about himself in the process are every bit as gripping as his investigation, and when the two threads of his life come together – the results are unforgettable.

Black Fridays marks the arrival of a remarkable new writer.

About the Author

Michael Sears spent over twenty years on Wall Street, rising to become a managing director at Paine Webber and Jeffries & Co., before leaving the business in 2005. He lives in Sea Cliff, New York, where he is at work on a second book featuring Jason Stafford and his son.

Praise For…

“Sears is terrific at generating momentum and suspense” – Publishers Weekly

“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


Product Details
ISBN: 9780399158667
ISBN-10: 0399158669
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Publication Date: September 18th, 2012
Pages: 341
Language: English