Summary and book reviews of Black Fridays by Michael Sears

Black Fridays

by Michael Sears

Black Fridays
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 2012, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2013, 432 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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About this Book

Book Summary

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.

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.

THE WOMAN SCREAMED for the first three seconds. Three seconds took her down only fourteen stories— she still had twenty-four to go. She fainted. Her arms and legs stopped flailing, her body went limp.

The few pedestrians on Maiden Lane, forced by circumstance to brave the baking mid afternoon sidewalk on the hottest first day of summer in New York City history, all froze at the sound, like grown-up children playing a game of Statues.

The bicycle messenger, a recent veteran of two tours of duty in Afghanistan, was busy chaining his vehicle to the no parking sign. When he heard the scream, he dove clear across the sidewalk, landing behind a large concrete planter.

Wind resistance on the woman's skirt, combined with the relative effects of gravity upon the denser mass of her head, spun her so that when she struck the roof of the idling Town Car at more than one hundred miles per hour, she hit headfirst—like a bullet. Her heart, unaware that the...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Once the action does kick in, the novel becomes a page-turner, and although there aren't any real shockers or major plot twists the story still holds the attention well. I doubt the novel would be a standout if it were based on the mystery alone. What makes it exceptional is the author's portrayal of Stafford's relationship with the Kid. I found this aspect of the book much more entertaining and interesting than the mystery.   (Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).

Full Review Members Only (779 words).

Media Reviews

Associated Press

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.

Dallas Morning News

It's been awhile since I’ve read a pop thriller so immediately captivating…[and I am] anxiously waiting for Sears' next book.

Kirkus

"The murder plot is turned capably enough, though most avid mystery readers should be able to guess the outcome. But the book's other story, that of Stafford's rehabilitation, proves the more compelling one.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. [An] impressive first novel... former trader himself, he’s also good at making the opaque intricacies of the financial markets transparent, even interesting.

Booklist

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.

Author Blurb Jonathan Kellerman
Black Fridays is the real deal: a compelling, beautifully written thriller offering a fascinating insider’s view of corruption in high places.

Author Blurb John Sandford
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.

Author Blurb Tess Gerritsen
Black Fridays has it all: superb writing, a riveting plot, and a hero I'm still thinking about days afterwards. A must read!

Author Blurb Lisa Gardner
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.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

Autism

In Black Fridays, the main character, Jason Stafford, has primary care of his son, who is autistic.

Autism Awareness Ribbon Merriam Webster's Concise Encyclopedia defines autism as a "neurobiological disorder that affects physical, social, and language skills. First described by Leo Kanner (1894 -1981) and Hans Asperger (1906 - 1980) in the 1940s, the syndrome usually appears before two years of age. Autistic infants appear indifferent or averse to affection and physical contact. They may be slow in learning to speak and suffer episodes of rage or panic; they may also appear deaf and display an almost hypnotic fascination with certain objects. Autism is often characterized by rhythmic body movements such as rocking or hand-clapping and by an obsessive desire ...

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