Ex-Wall Street trader, ex-con, and devoted father to an autistic son, Jason Stafford first appeared in Black Fridays, “one of the year’s finest crime debuts” (Booklist). Now, in Mortal Bonds, he goes to work for the wealthy family of a financial criminal…
William von Becker’s multibillion-dollar fund was limited to only the luckiest investors. Or so they thought.
After the house of cards collapses and the disgraced von Becker commits suicide in prison, his family asks Jason Stafford to find out where the money is—and who is targeting them with attempted kidnappings. There are plenty of angry suspects to take a look at. But with roughly three billion of von Becker’s ill-gotten dollars floating around somewhere, there are other interested parties as well. They’re determined. They’re powerful. And they’re not nearly as polite as the Feds…
In Sears's strong sequel to 2012's Black Fridays, white-collar financier-felon Jason Stafford investigates some seriously shady activities on Wall Street on behalf of the family of William Von Becker, an infamous investor who ran a Bernie Madoff inspired Ponzi scheme, lost billions, and killed himself in prison. The surviving Von Beckers matriarch Olivia and her four grown children engage Stafford to see if he can find the missing billions and "salvage something of the family name." Stafford's hunt for the money involves former Wall Street colleagues and some of the victims themselves, notably Tulio Castillo, a wealthy Colombian who may be involved in the drug trade. Meanwhile, Stafford continues to face some serious domestic difficulties: a young son with severe autism, a volatile ex-wife, and a girlfriend. The search for all that money in such a high-profile case feels like a longshot, to Stafford and the reader, but Sears's knowledge of investment banking makes the plot compelling if not always convincing. Deft, witty prose is a plus.