In a rip-roaring plot that could be torn from tomorrow’s headlines, bestselling author T. Davis Bunn weaves political intrigues and disturbing moral dilemmas into a chillingly credible portrait of the cutthroat world of international finance.
Jackie Havilland is working in an Orlando detective agency when she is approached with an unusual request: Esther Hutchings, wife of Congressman Graham Hutchings, wants Jackie to find out who is behind a smear campaign to destroy her husband, who has recently suffered a debilitating stroke. Congressman Hutchings was investigating a secret project called Tsunami, the biggest currency scam in history. Jackie is instructed to unearth all she can and to leave no paper trail.
Wynn Bryant, a successful, wealthy businessman, is the brother-in-law of the governor of Florida. Wynn has never liked politics and is surprised when his brother-in-law contrives to have him take Hutchings’s place in Congress. The reason soon becomes clear: Legislation to relieve Third World countries of their debt–dubbed the Jubilee Amendment–is in the offing, and the governor is determined to have it quashed at any cost. Just as Wynn is about to decline the position, he is told that refusing isn’t an option.
As Jackie and Wynn get more deeply involved in their new assignments, they begin to feel ripples of a conspiracy carrying a destructive power far more dangerous than the notorious Tsunami scam. It is a killer wave that threatens to crush them both–and permanently reshape the world economy.
In his previous Doubleday novel, The Great Divide, T. Davis Bunn spun a legal thriller that wowed critics and readers alike. In Drummer in the Dark, he captures contemporary political and financial maneuverings with the same dazzling artistry. Climaxing in a highly charged showdown between the demands of morality and the driving forces of economic globalization in our increasingly interdependent world, Drummer in the Dark brings the suspense novel to a whole new level of excitement.
Taking its cue from two recent financial disasters (the Emulex story and the Barings collapse), this clever mix of politics, morality and high-tech suspense makes for a riveting thriller about (of all things) financial derivatives. Former high-tech guru Wynn Bryant is tapped by his brother-in-law, the new governor of Florida, to replace Congressman Graham Hutchings, bedridden with a stroke. His single mission: to help defeat Hutchings's pet piece of legislation, something called the Jubilee Amendment. Surrounded by scheming lobbyists, staffers who know more than he does and peers who dismiss him as a stand-in, Bryant's research into Hutchings's amendment puts him squarely in the path of Jackie Havilland, who's been hired by Hutchings's wife to find out who's been smearing her husband, and why. Both Bryant and Havilland find their investigations leading to the same source: infamous financier Pavel Hayek, head of the Hayek Group and mastermind of a secret plan that Hayek calls Tsunami. Since Bryant is ignorant of finance, his education in the details behind Tsunami, which involve the dangers of hedge funds and derivative financial instruments, is our education as well. Bunn (The Great Divide) obviously knows his stuff there's a scary reality behind this fiendishly simple plot, made all the more convincing by virtue of Bunn's financial expertise. And while the novel starts out slow, once the characters start bounding around the world from Rome to Cairo and the violence and danger escalate, the novel takes off. Bottom line: Bunn has crafted an intelligent, fast-moving novel about hedge funds; and if a writer can do that, he can do just about anything.