Silent Partner Hardcover – Large Print, Apr 2003
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Jake Lawrence is a reclusive multibillionaire who plans on taking over a hot, new company... he also happens to be a stockholder at Sumter Bank.
Jake sets up his meeting with Angela to make her an offer...an offer she can't refuse. The terms of the offer are simple; Angela uses her skills, and charm to oversee the takeover and make sure everything goes smoothly, and secretly, and Jake will have her permanently reunited with her son.
This reward is one Angela will risk everything for, and accepting the offer will mean just that, for behind the take-over is a master player willing to kill to get what he wants. The clock is ticking as Angela races to clear her name, and bring down the dirty players within her own company before they strike out at what is most precious to her.
'Silent Partner' is a gripping, suspenseful, page-turner that can't be put down once started. Fast action, and multiple plot lines keep things going until the exciting climax where all the pieces of the complex puzzle come together. Well written, and extremely fast paced, 'Silent Partner' surprises with every turn of the page, and will satisfy even the most jaded thriller readers.
Stephen Frey is the master of the financial thriller, and as long as he keeps turning out novels like this he will never lose the title. I have been a fan of Frey's since the publication of his first novel 'The Takeover', and every novel since has been excellent with 'Silent Partner' being about the best yet. Expect to see this novel on all the bestseller lists.
Billionaire software mogul and growing Sumter bank stockholder Jake Lawrence summons Angela to meet with him to discuss the removal of Dudley to be replaced by her. Angela sees an opportunity for herself with the dislodging of her odious boss and an even greater break for the community especially the middle class black. She might even be able to leverage her ex for greater custody of their child. However, acceptance of the job or not, Angela finds herself tugged between two forces that apparently have no interest in her or the community except for what they can obtain from both with her only seemingly ally, a muckraker.
SILENT PARTNER is an exciting financial mystery that is at its best when Stephen Frey provides a behind the scenes look at regional banking. However, much of the cast is stereotyped and taken from headline news. The immoral Southern good ole boys get away with rape and murder while disapproving loans for optimistic black wannabe homeowners. Thus, the prime theme of redlining seems pale in comparison. Still the heroine makes the novel worth reading as she is an intrepid individual whose accomplishments and willingness to do what she believes is the right thing for her community keeps the story line focused.
Most recent customer reviews
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.Published on July 3 2004 by S. Lyons
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... Read morePublished on March 7 2004 by Amazon Customer
In Stephen Frey's world, apparently, all the villains are blonde haired fraternity members ("frat boys" in Freyese) or racist businessmen. Read morePublished on June 12 2003 by Grey W. Satterfield Jr.
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. Read morePublished on April 14 2003 by David A. Spearman
Frey's America is rife with racists of all stripes controlling the industrial and financial machinery that runs this country. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2003 by JanSobieski
right from the start this was a great book starts with the main character Angela Day who has grown up basically from a poor background and has made it through college to a career... Read morePublished on Feb. 2 2003 by T. A Kelley