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Friday, 2 January 2015

‘Mortal Bonds’ by Michael Sears

Published by Gerald Duckworth & Co,
17 July 2014.

Jason Stafford has been hired by the family of a crooked, dead millionaire to find a missing three billion. Unfortunately several other people also want that money, and they’re not fussy about how they get hold of it ...

This financial thriller opens with a murder in Zurich, then returns to the States and a glimpse of life for the super-rich. After that, the action never stops, both in Jason’s quest for the missing money and in his emotional life, as his ex-wife threatens to undo all the progress he’s made with his autisitic son. As a teacher who’s worked with autistic children, I found this was extremely well-handled, and ‘the Kid’ was an enjoyable character. The novel was full of wonderful cameo characters: the theatre impresario Paddy Gallagher, the Mafia boss Castillo, and the ‘minders’ Tom and Ivan. Jason is an engaging narrator, and the financial storyline, which could have been difficult for the general reader, is clarified as the plot demands it. Short sections and plenty of dialogue keep the pages turning quickly, and the end explodes in a series of neat twists.

A rattling financial thriller with emotional heart. It can be read as a stand-alone, but if this sounds your cup of tea, you might want to begin with the first Jason Stafford novel, Black Fridays.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

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.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

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