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Silent Partner [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Stephen Frey
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 2003 Thorndike Core
Summoned under mysterious circumstances to meet Jake Lawrence, one of the world’s richest entrepreneurs, Angela Day may be on the threshold of a brighter future. The reclusive multibillionaire is planning a takeover of a hot, new company—and he wants Angela to apply her considerable skills in banking to make sure it all goes smoothly . . . and secretly. In exchange, Lawrence promises to use his formidable influence to permanently reunite Angela with her son, whom she lost in a custody battle to her adulterous, connected ex-husband. It’s the one reward for which Angela would risk everything. But with enormous wealth and power comes the ultimate price tag. For enemies everywhere have marked the man for death. And anyone close to him—namely, Angela Day—is fair game.
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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From Amazon

Financial chicanery is Stephen Frey's forte, and in his newest thriller (following The Insider and The Day Trader), he sets up one of the world's richest men and a young bank executive, who's trying to wrest custody of her son from her well-connected ex-husband, in a sting operation to expose blatant racism in the mortgage practices of a big Virginia financial institution. Angela Day, whose African American college roommate died in her arms after a racially motivated attack, is a gutsy and appealing woman whose life is turned upside down when she gets involved with Jake Lawrence, a billionaire with his own reasons for wanting to expose the corruption at the core of the bank that employs her. When he offers her the chance to get her son back, she plunges into a world of double-dealing where nothing and no one are what they seem and everyone's motives are suspect. Some of the coincidences strain credulity, and the characters are too one-dimensional to care about, but Frey makes the most of his convoluted plot and wraps up the details with an unexpected love story. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran financial thriller writer Frey (Trust Fund; Day Trader; etc.) returns with another novel of greed and intrigue set in the back corridors of finance. Angela Day, an up-from-the-trailer-park young executive on the fast track at Sumter Bank in Richmond, Va., is summoned to a Tetons hideaway, lair of the reclusive and powerful moneyman Jake Lawrence. Lawrence wants Day to help him take over Sumter Bank and oust Day's boss, chairman Bob Dudley. There is no love lost between Day and the despicable racist Dudley, who schemes to keep blacks out of white neighborhoods by denying them loans; helping Lawrence would mean lots of money and a golden career for Day. But it also puts her life in danger, and she finds herself carelessly used as a pawn by both men. Toss in a muckraking black reporter friend of Day's, whose presence stirs her guilt over the horrific death of a black schoolmate at a college frat party, and a cowboyish bodyguard (complete with ten-gallon hat and pocket flask), and you have the makings of a television movie. Frey is best describing the internecine workings of financial institutions and those who manipulate them, but it's hard to spin an exciting yarn out of mortgage applications, especially when a stereotyped cast of hopeful black homeowners is pitted against nasty Southern good ol' boys. Frey's unremarkable prose ("How could humans be so awful? Why couldn't they just get along?") doesn't help.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Angela Day and Sally Chambers had been inseparable for as long as either of them could remember. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars The only mystery of this book is that it... July 7 2004
got published.
The plot is dull, uninspired and relies more on coincidence than anything I've read since Charles Dickens. Grinding through this book was less exciting than opening a loaf of bread. If you loved Nancy Drew mysteries this book will still be a challenge because the writing is every bit as absurd as the plot.
Worse, the characters are painfully predictable and somehow thought to be interesting because they are so, so, so politically correct. Thus, white males are dumb and greedy. Rich white males and evil, dumb and greedy. But, we are saved because the book is populated by bright, thoughtful, sensitive, tough, smart, tender (but not too tender) and moral women. The minority woman has the moral high ground throughout. Tedious to be confronted by a book wallowing so hopelessly in its own political message.
The book ends with a rush as if the author had tired of inventing coincidences and had hit the total number of words agreed to with his publisher. Indeed, the plot is so thin I had the impression that the book was little more than a stab and giving the author's agent something to flog around Hollywood where this sort of drivel wrapped around political correctness might well find a home - then tossed under the casting couch.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Snore! July 3 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is definitely not his best. After reading The Take Over and Inner Sanctum, I expected much better. The story was just too predictable and not a very good read.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was a fast read and a definite page turner with lots of twists and turns. It took me a while to put the prologue into perspective with the rest of the story, but the pieces all fit in the end.
The ending was good, although it left me wanting more - a sign of a great book, in my opinion. I wasn't ready to let go of the key characters.
I can't say much more without revealing pieces of the puzzle, except ENJOY!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Biased, boring, and dumb June 12 2003
In Stephen Frey's world, apparently, all the villains are blonde haired fraternity members ("frat boys" in Freyese) or racist businessmen. The only decent people are either poor, members of ethnic minorities, or leftist acitivists. Matters are made worse by an unbelievable plot, plodding writing, and motivations, which to put it kindly, do not ring true. If Mr. Frey has any understanding of the subtleties of human nature or life's ambiguities, he fails to reveal it in "Silent Partner." I have read a lot of thrillers so the law of averages decrees that some of them were not very good. Nevertheless, I can't remember one as bad as this silly left-wing rant.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Beleivable April 14 2003
Poor little rich girl meets the richest man,at least in the USA. Lots of intrigue if you can believe it. Some very good twists and turns that keep you reading. I have enjoyed all his books but this one is just not my cup of tea. I will try others though as all good authors sometimes hit you with one that just isn't right for you.
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Angela Day, the central character of this story, has managed to overcome a life of poverty and tragedy to to create a rewarding career as a respected lending officer with Sumter Bank in Richmond, VA. However she is still haunted by the death of Sally Chambers, her childhood friend and college roommate, during their senior year at the university. (It is a central element of the story that Angela is white and Sally was black.) Over a decade later, Angela still feels reponsible for the circumstances of Sally's death and the racism that was responsible for the tragic incident; this experience has imbued her with a deep seated hatred of the residual traces of racism that still may be shared by some of the top managers of her bank. Thus, she has chosen to help Liv Jefferson, a local reporter, unearth material for an expose concerning the lending practices of Sumter bank.
The other major regret in Angela's life is her divorce from Sam Reese, the son Chuck Reese, one of Richmond's wealthiest men and a sworn enemy of Bob Dudley, the chairman of Sumter Bank. Chuck believed Sam married beneath himself and convinced Sam to divorce Angela and marry into society. He also arranged for Sam to win the custody case for their six year old son Hunter, so that Angela has minimal visitation rights and is fearful that her relationship with Hunter will deteriorate as he grows up with the advantages that the Reese family can offer him.
Suddenly, an opportunity is offered for Angela to advance her career and regain custody of Hunter at the same time. She is summoned to a secretive meeting in Wyoming with the reclusive multi-billionaire Jake Lawrence to be his go-between and do due diligence for an acquisition that he wants to consummate.
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