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Power Play [Hardcover]

Joseph Finder
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 21 2007
It was the perfect retreat for a troubled company.  No cell phones.  No BlackBerrys.  No cars.  Just a luxurious, remote lodge surrounded by thousands of miles of wilderness.
     All the top officers of the Hammond Aerospace Corporation are there.  And one last-minute substitute -- a junior executive named Jake Landry.  He's a steady, modest, and taciturn guy with a gift for keeping his head down and a turbulent past he's trying to put behind him.  
Jake's uncomfortable with all the power players he's been thrown in with, with all the swaggering and the posturing.  The only person there he knows is the female CEO's assistant--his ex-girlfriend, Ali.
     When a band of backwoods hunters crash the opening-night dinner, the executives suddenly find themselves held hostage by armed men who will do anything, to anyone, to get their hands on the largest ransom in history.  Now, terrified and desperate and cut off from the rest of the world, the captives are at the mercy of hard men with guns who may not be what they seem. 
     The corporate big shots hadn't wanted Jake there.  But now he's the only one who can save them. 
     Power Play is a non-stop, pulse-pounding, high-stakes thriller that will hold the reader riveted until the very last page.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

If Jake Landry, a tough guy with an understanding of airplane engineering and an innate grasp of corporate politics, is too good to be true, he's still fun to watch in this sleek thriller from bestseller Finder (Killer Instinct). A junior executive at California's Hammond Aerospace, Landry possesses a remarkably flexible intelligence, which lands him on a high-end corporate weekend at a lodge called Rivers Inlet, where the new CEO, Cheryl Tobin, discreetly asks Landry to help her identify corrupt executives. Almost immediately, the lodge is assailed by five men who at first appear to be hunters turned vicious at the sight of the weekend participants' enormous wealth. As they interrogate the executives, however, it becomes clear that they know quite a bit about Hammond and its workings. Landry's job, then, is to figure out their purpose as well as rescue the entire crew. Tight, fluid writing more than compensates for the occasional plot implausibility. 200,000 first printing; author tour. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The best-selling author known for his business thrillers (Paranoia, 2004; Company Man, 2005)here focuses on the aviation industry, as the management team of Hammond Aerospace gathers in a lodge off the coast of British Columbia. The hard-charging businessmen are in full preening mode, showing off their high-end gear and slamming the company's female CEO. Jake Landry, who has been asked to step in for his boss and does not have quite as privileged a background, has brought the wrong clothes and the wrong attitude. When the lodge is overrun by a group of hunters, Jake suspects there's more to the scenario than a robbery, especially since the thieves are toting military-issue weapons. Finder's not much on dialogue and characterization (it's hard to keep all the egotistical businessmen straight), and he throws in just enough tech talk to give his story a realistic veneer. What he does do is hook his readers big time with an irresistible premise: watching the swaggering businessmen cower as a smart-mouthed former juvenile delinquent picks off the bad guys, one by one. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
As many people say, best-selling author Joseph Finder does for CEOs what John Grisham does for attorneys--makes them exciting, entertaining, and larger than life!

Finder's famous for focusing on various industries in his popular novels; in POWER PLAY it's the aviation industry. The action in this novel takes place at an elite hunting lodge off the coast of British Columbia. When the management team of California's Hammond Aerospace meets there, an unlikely character--a junior executive named Jake Landry--is asked to fill in for his boss.

Jake may not be as sophisticated, wealthy, and privileged as the higher-ranking businessmen, but he's clever and proves much smarter where it really matters. His "smart-mouth attitude" doesn't help endear him to the others or alleviate the tension developing between the "egotistical" men and the new female CEO, Cheryl Tobin, who has been hired to "clean up" the company.

Toss in some armed hunters who take over the compound--pretending to be thieves but whom Jake suspects have much more devious ambitions--and you have an action-packed drama with more twists and turns than an Indy race track.

And why are the thieves armed with military weapons? What is their real goal? Will the businessmen help Jake overcome them or are they too cowardly? Is the CEO who was in line for Cheryl's job behind it all? Well, you'll just have to wait and see. I promise you a thrilling, white-knuckle read from start to finish.

Finder keeps us guessing about Jake's background, hinting at some juvenile offense, and he's excellent at characterization. All his characters have unique identities and come alive for me. He weaves an irresistible premise with enough high tech jargon in the plot to keep it believable.
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By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Jake Landry is a junior executive with Hammond Aerospace, a firm that is not quite in the same league as Boeing and Lockheed. But their main competitor on the second tier has just had a plane crash at a air show and Hammond is trying to take advantage of the situation. That means Jake's boss is on the other side of the globe trying to swing deals and that Jake gets to go to a corporate retreat at a swanky hunting lodge in the middle of the Canadian nowhere. That means no cell phones, no BlackBerrys, but every other luxury when it comes to the food and booze that is available at the lodge.

At first Jake thinks his biggest problem is spending the week with Hammond's top executives, who are happy to ignore him as an underling even when he is the only one in the room who knows what they are talking about. Then he is stunned to see that Ali Hillman, his ex-girl friend, is along on the trip (the fact Jake does not like change seems to be at the root of their relationship problems), but wait, there is more. Ali is now the assistant to Hammond's CEO, who basically wants Jake to spy on the other executives because of suspicions that one of them has been engaging in bribery or worse. But all of these concerns become secondary with a bunch of guys with guns show up, take Hammond's executives hostage, and start demanding a lot of money.

Like "Killer Instinct," Finder begins near the end, teasing his readers with the pivotal moment in which the hero is trying to avoid having to kill someone. The fact that Jake Landry is standing unarmed while some guy has a matte black SIG-Sauer nine millimeter pointed at him does not take away from the certainty that Jake has no choice. He has to kill this guy and apparently he is going to be able to do it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of advance reader's copy Aug. 21 2007
Joseph Finder has frequently been compared with John Grisham because of his skill in portraying the business world as expertly as Grisham depicts the legal profession. But Finder's new novel, Power Play, also brings to mind the works of Tom Clancy. Instead of a prophetic account of a vengeful Japanese pilot crashing a jumbo jet into the Capitol, we are afforded a preview of the kidnapping for a huge ransom of a large multinational corporation's top executives meeting at a remote retreat through an intricate plot featuring Grisham-like twists. The successful struggles of the company's new female chief executive officer to defend her prerogatives seem like a reverse riff upon recent real-life events at the Hewlett-Packard Company. Permeating this focused, superbly researched, and tragicomic narrative in which unforeseen consequences inevitably occur are flashes of the irreverence, self-deprecation, and wry humor that we have learned to expect from Finder's chief characters, along with a carefully wrought happy ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER
Thriller meister Joseph Finder packs a wallop with his latest action charged novel Power Play. Fans of Finder (Company Man, Killer Instinct, Paranoia) know that he raises the bar for suspense novels by setting them in the business world. This time around in a story undergirded by voluminous research he presents a corporation's greatest fear - the kidnaping of top executives. Not one but all.

Detail oriented, this author's characters are vividly realized, at times clearly defined by a phrase, such as shrugging a sleeve to display an expensive wristwatch; "dyed copper hair and a ghostly pallor;" or one wearing a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers: who "needed only a porkpie hat to look like one of the Blues Brothers."

As has been said God is in the details and Finder knows this well.
Hammond Aerospace Corporation employs a jillion people. Pretty low on their totem is Jake Landry, a junior executive. He's a laid back kind of guy without professional aspirations, and still hurting from his break-up with Ali. Both complex and affecting, Jake is a bit of a mystery which unfolds in flashback form. Thus, Finder has created not only a pulse stopping suspense scenario but a fascinating character study as well.

Jake is more than surprised when he's asked to be part of the company's retreat, a three-day session of bonding and games (more accurately life threatening exercises) with the top dogs. The gathering will take place at a remote lodge, luxurious but accessible only by water. No cell phones, Blackberrys or other forms of communication allowed. All of that was puzzling enough, but when he arrives to board the company jet, Ali is there, too, now assistant to CEO Cheryl Tobin.
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