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Black Fridays by Michael Sears

Black Fridays (edition 2012)

by Michael Sears

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1313191,855 ()12
Title:Black Fridays
Authors:Michael Sears
Info:Putnam Adult (2012), Hardcover, 341 pages
Collections:Your library

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Black Fridays by Michael Sears



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Jason Stafford went to Prison for his crimes and paid his dues. Now he is out and wanting to get his life back on track. He wants to reconnect with his ex wife and son. Which was the plan from the get go. Jason had her all set up with money to care for herself and her son and enough for them to get started when he was in the clear. However things do not always go as planned.

Jason tries to contact his ex wife and she wants nothing to do with him anymore. She has remarried and pawned their autistic son off on her elderly mother. Who has come to know little Jason's (Kid) routine however he doesn't get out much and is kept in a dark room. Jason goes to Louisiana to pick up his son and try to reconnect with him and has no idea how but gets some help and starts actually learning from the Kid things he never realized in his life.

He learns that someone wants him to work for them even after his stint and actions in the trading business the reason he went to prison and gets himself into more than he bargained for. Murder's, kidnappings and excitement all rolled into one.

For me it started out a little slow in the first couple of chapters however as the book moves along I became more engrossed. Good read. ( )
  MonicaLynn | Oct 4, 2013 |
An enjoyable thriller about a disgraced Wall Street trader who takes on a job probing the irregularities of a junior trader who died suddenly. At the same time, he's trying to reconnect with his autistic son. The tension rises as he uncovers more problems on Wall Street and runs afoul of his ex-wife's violent boyfriend. Sears is a good writer who does a good job of showing what it's like to be a trader while also developing a tender yet realistic relationship between a man who has just gotten out of prison and his son.
  bfister | Jun 15, 2013 |
My blog post about this book is at this link. ( )
  SuziQoregon | Mar 31, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Jason Stafford has gotten out of prison after being convicted of embezzling money. His only job experience is working on Wall Street but he has restriction on what he can do in the financial district now that he is out of prison. He eventually gets hired to investigate an employee's actions. Meanwhile, he is trying to get his son, with special needs, back into his custody but his ex-wife is being difficult. While Jason is dealing with his personal life, his life is in jeopardy over this investigation.

When I first started this book, I was worried about the complexity of the financial piece of the story. The author did a great job describing things in a way that everyone can understand. There were some aspects that I'm not sure I fully understood, but it didn't detract from the story. I feel that anyone, even someone with no financial background, can enjoy this book.

I loved that there were a couple of story lines within this one book. It allowed the reader to see multiple side of the main character. It made me feel more connected to the different characters.

Overall, I found this book entertaining throughout and I learned information about the financial district that I had not known prior to reading this book. I hope that Michael Sears continues to write. I will definitely look out for more of his book in the future. ( )
  damejennylynn | Feb 25, 2013 |
Black Fridays begins with Jason Stafford's release from prison. He returns to New York City and hopes to start a new life with his ex-wife and child. Unfortunately Jason's ex has not gone along with the game plan. Jason had patiently explained to Angie that they needed to get a divorce and transfer assets from his name to hers in an effort to protect her and retain money before he was indicted. He thought she understood that the divorce was only a ruse and they would get back together once his legal issues were finalized. Unfortunately Angie is a high-maintenance alcoholic that only thinks of herself and she has left New York and returned to Louisiana and her family. So Jason returns to an empty apartment, initially purchased as an investment. His life is on hold as he is on parole for three years and cannot leave the five boroughs of New York without permission from his parole officer. This doesn't stop Jason from leaving New York and going to Louisiana to get his son, Jason Jr. or the Kid.

The Kid suffers from autism and requires special care. Jason knows that he's facing an uphill struggle in his efforts to provide the best care possible for the Kid. He also knows that the Kid needs a very strict regimented life in order to handle life. Jason quickly gets used to "beige" and "black" days and the food quirks of the Kid. In a few short weeks Jason and the Kid have made a bond and a life that works for them.

Jason is prohibited from returning to trading and he knows that it may be difficult to obtain gainful employment. But Jason's knowledge base and his imprisonment history have made him the perfect man to investigate the history of a deceased junior trader at an investment firm. Little does Jason know that this "investigation" is placing not only his life, but his son's life, in peril. Sometimes accidents are not what they seem and Jason is finding out that there have been too many accidents associated with people at this particular investment firm. Not only does Jason have to contend with co-workers that won't reveal anything useful, but he also has the FBI pushing him into a corner, as well as his ex-wife and her bid to take their son away again.

Black Fridays is a thriller that provides some insight into dealing with autism and behind the scenes looks at the trading world. The title is an obvious play on the historical "black Fridays" seen as a result of Wall Street trading as well as the Kid's required black clothing on Fridays. Jason isn't really an "any man" even though he doesn't come from a privileged background. Prior to his arrest, Jason was living a life that many of us may not be able to comprehend with multiple residences, extravagant and luxurious purchases. Jason struggles to build a new life for himself and for his son, while struggling to understand the bond market and what has been happening at the investment firm. Jason's desire for his ex-wife's return fizzles out quickly after learning about her remarriage and one night of sex with Wanda (a co-worker to a magician friend). All of the characters presented are highly believable (thanks in part to reality TV in presenting the lifestyles of the rich, famous and infamous). I found the parts of the story that dealt with trading and bond discussions to drag just a bit, but the knowledge presented was necessary in order to understand the story. The portions of the story dealing with Jason and the Kid were at times comical and others sad. Black Fridays provides the reader with trading fraud, blackmail, murder, parental kidnaping, battery, family bonding, and a hint of romance. Mr. Sears has provided a story that quickly gripped me and had me rooting for Jason and the Kid until the end. I found Black Fridays to be a relatively fast read and one that I can recommend for thriller readers looking for something just a little bit different. ( )
  BookDivasReads | Nov 25, 2012 |
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Struggling to rebuild his life after a two-year prison term for unscrupulous choices, former Wall Street hotshot Jason Stafford is tapped by an investment firm to investigate the suspicious death of a junior trader.

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