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Shadow Account: A Novel by Stephen Frey
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (2004)
Conner Ashby took a job as an investment banker with Phenix Capital because its founder and president, the now elderly Gavin Smith, is a wonderful mentor and an up-by-his-own-bootstraps man, like Conner himself. So it's no surprise that Conner turns to Gavin for help after a series of events that seems to defy explanation. During a tryst with Liz, a wealthy heiress engaged to someone else, Conner hears a beep from his computer, signifying the arrival of e-mail. The message alludes to an apparent conspiracy to rip off investors with the bank. Later, returning home after running an errand, he finds his apartment ransacked, Liz dead, the intruder still on the premises. Conner evades the thug, summons the police, and returns to his apartment to find everything in pristine condition--including the spot where Liz's dead body once lay. Finding the connection between that e-mail message and the disappearance of Liz becomes Conner's obsession, despite Gavin's advice to forget the incident and move on. Staying true to the formula that has made his financial thrillers successful, Frey throws his financial-wizard hero into a situation in which he can trust no one and forces him to risk his life while uncovering a bizarre web of corruption and deceit. There are no real surprises here, but Frey does what he does skillfully, and he's found a large and receptive audience.
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