Monday, April 30, 2012
Is it really insider trading if you've been an outsider your entire life?
Five men. Five walks of life. Every day they come together at the white shoe law firm Olmstead & Taft. But they're not lawyers. They're "Printers": blue-collar guys consigned to the dark basement of the firm charged with copying, collating and delivering the mountains of paperwork that document millions of dollars of sensitive legal secrets.
Until the five are approached by an ambitious young attorney who teaches them what they have: insider information. Together they make a plan: take the classified documents that pass through their hands every day and use them to get rich. They create a joint account to deposit the spoils. An account with a safeguard-each one only knows one section of the access code.
Which means that for all five conspirators, there's no way out. But as too much money piles up to go unnoticed, the Printers will discover there's one thing even worse than being an outsider: being in too deep. -- Mulholland
I know it sounds like I'm patting myself on the back, but I am so glad that I started doing Mystery Mondays. For whatever reason, I noticed that I wasn't reading many mystery or suspense novels once I started blogging; and I realized that I missed those genres. I think my timing was pretty good because it wasn't too long after I started this feature that Mulholland Books was born. I have to say that I've grown to love this imprint, and I can always count on a quality read for Mystery Mondays.
The latest novel that captured my interest was FIFTEEN DIGITS by Nick Santora. For those of you not familiar with this author (or think the name looks familiar but can't figure out why), Mr. Santora has written for some pretty fantastic television shows including The Sopranos (one of my all-time faves), Law & Order, and Prison Break. He has also written the bestseller SLIP & FALL which I hope to read in the near future -- you'll see why after you read the rest of this review.
After completing FIFTEEN DIGITS, I know one thing for sure. Mr. Santora has a knack for creating some interesting characters, some intense scenes, and some great dialogue. I was highly entertained by FIFTEEN DIGITS, and I was reminded of how much I missed reading these types of novels. This novel was fast-paced and filled with a lot of action; however, it also had some characters that I grew to really like (even though they were the "bad guys.") I'm sure it's no accident, but FIFTEEN DIGITS read like a movie to me; and I could easily see this one on the big screen. In fact, I tried to cast (or at least picture) the characters as I read the story.
FIFTEEN DIGITS tells the story of five young men who work for an upscale New York law firm. Four of the men work in the basement as "printers" while one works as a lawyer upstairs. When the lawyer comes up with a way for all five of them to get rich quickly using the "insider" knowledge they see every day as part of their printing duties, the men are all initially reluctant to participate. However, each young man realizes that to live their simple dreams, they need more money than they will ever make working in the printing department.
At first, everything is just too easy for these guys and they begin making money... lots of money. But when they decide they've made enough and want to get out, they quickly learn that they are in much deeper than they ever imagined.
FIFTEEN DIGITS is an intense thriller that deals with white-collar crime but also has just the right amount of humor and character development to bring it to the next level. I thought it was very well written and the pacing was excellent. I loved getting caught up in the action and I was even startled by the ending. However, what I wasn't expecting was that I would feel an emotional attachment to the characters... especially since they were breaking the law.
Mr. Santora did a lot of good things in this novel, but what just might have impressed me the most was how well he made me sympathize with the printers. All of the guys were basically good people who just made a bad decision. The author provided enough background information on each of the characters for the reader to not only like them, but understand why they chose to go down this road. I actually found myself rooting for the criminals and wanting them to get away with the crimes and be able to lead "normal" lives. FIFTEEN DIGITS definitely makes you look at the motivations behind crimes a little differently and realize that things aren't always black and white.
I thought FIFTEEN DIGITS was a very enjoyable book and one that kept me on the edge-of-my-seat while also making me sympathize with the characters. Highly recommended for fans of thrillers.
Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.
Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.