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Shadow Account

Cover of Shadow Account

Shadow Account

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His novels of big money and murder in the world of finance have earned New York Times bestselling author Stephen Frey a richly deserved reputation as a master of suspense who always delivers a high yield. Now he raises the stakes, and the risk factor, in a new thriller that pits a young Wall Street player against corporate conspiracy and White House intrigue--in a dangerous game of double crosses, dirty tricks, and deadly consequences.

An investment banker in the maverick firm Phenix Capital, Conner Ashby is doing all right for himself. At twenty-seven, he's practically the right-hand man of the company's founder--a wealthy old pro looking to make a big comeback on The Street while grooming Conner for a place at the top. Between his career and his gorgeous girlfriend, it's a good life, with every indication of getting even better--until a wayward E-mail crosses Conner's computer, and plunges his near-perfect world into a terrifying downward spiral.

"The 'operation' is way out of hand. If we don't do something, it's going to detonate." It's a communication not meant for Conner's eyes, between people he doesn't know, about a company he's never heard of--a company that's engaged in corporate fraud on a massive scale. With no way to trace the E-mail, it's impossible for Conner to act on the volatile discovery. But with millions of dollars at stake, high-powered careers in the balance, and hell to pay if the truth comes out, whoever clicked the "send" button by mistake isn't about to take any chances. And for Conner, the evening that began in the arms of a beautiful woman ends in a harrowing race for his life.

As he follows a twisting trail of misdeeds and misinformation that stretches nationwide, Conner slowly uncovers a shocking plot as undeniably real as the gunshot wound in his arm. Now, surviving will mean struggling to expose the truth as relentlessly as his shadowy enemies seek to conceal it-- and fighting for his life as ruthlessly as those determined to end it.

At every unexpected turn, Shadow Account deftly reveals Stephen Frey's many and considerable gifts: his genius for plotting, his mastery of suspense, and his unmatched insight into the dark territory where finance meets felony, money meets mortality, and profit and loss are matters of life and death.

From the Hardcover edition.
His novels of big money and murder in the world of finance have earned New York Times bestselling author Stephen Frey a richly deserved reputation as a master of suspense who always delivers a high yield. Now he raises the stakes, and the risk factor, in a new thriller that pits a young Wall Street player against corporate conspiracy and White House intrigue--in a dangerous game of double crosses, dirty tricks, and deadly consequences.

An investment banker in the maverick firm Phenix Capital, Conner Ashby is doing all right for himself. At twenty-seven, he's practically the right-hand man of the company's founder--a wealthy old pro looking to make a big comeback on The Street while grooming Conner for a place at the top. Between his career and his gorgeous girlfriend, it's a good life, with every indication of getting even better--until a wayward E-mail crosses Conner's computer, and plunges his near-perfect world into a terrifying downward spiral.

"The 'operation' is way out of hand. If we don't do something, it's going to detonate." It's a communication not meant for Conner's eyes, between people he doesn't know, about a company he's never heard of--a company that's engaged in corporate fraud on a massive scale. With no way to trace the E-mail, it's impossible for Conner to act on the volatile discovery. But with millions of dollars at stake, high-powered careers in the balance, and hell to pay if the truth comes out, whoever clicked the "send" button by mistake isn't about to take any chances. And for Conner, the evening that began in the arms of a beautiful woman ends in a harrowing race for his life.

As he follows a twisting trail of misdeeds and misinformation that stretches nationwide, Conner slowly uncovers a shocking plot as undeniably real as the gunshot wound in his arm. Now, surviving will mean struggling to expose the truth as relentlessly as his shadowy enemies seek to conceal it-- and fighting for his life as ruthlessly as those determined to end it.

At every unexpected turn, Shadow Account deftly reveals Stephen Frey's many and considerable gifts: his genius for plotting, his mastery of suspense, and his unmatched insight into the dark territory where finance meets felony, money meets mortality, and profit and loss are matters of life and death.

From the Hardcover edition.
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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One "What are you looking at?"

    Conner Ashby glanced up from his computer. "Did you say something?" He made it sound so sincere. Gave her that distracted tone and that puzzled expression. He had the routine down to a science, and he enjoyed playing with her head. It was one of those things they had in common.

    Liz Shaw stood in the doorway of his cramped bedroom, hands on hips. She wore just an oversized blue-and-orange New York Knicks T-shirt that fell to her knees. "You're impossible," she said. "Answer me." From the doorway, she couldn't see the screen.

    Conner grinned, impressed by Liz's ability to make casual cotton as sexy as black lace. She was gorgeous. Easily the most beautiful woman he'd ever been with. "I'm looking at my Schwab brokerage account."

    "You're lying to me, Mr. Ashby."

    Conner winced. It wasn't the accusation that bothered him. It was the fact that Liz never used his first name. Her means of maintaining a subtle yet effective distance. "What are you talking about?"

    "You don't have a Schwab account anymore."

    Conner fished an ice cube from a Bronx Zoo cup sitting beside his computer on the old desk, and ran it slowly across his bare chest. The air-conditioning had gone down a few hours ago, and he was wearing nothing but a pair of cargo shorts. "How do you know that?"

    "I was on your computer last night before you got home. You closed your Schwab account. You, Mr. Ashby, are now an Ameritrade customer."

    "Hey, as modest as this hovel is, it's my hovel," he reminded her, trying to sound annoyed. "I pay the rent here and you had no right to go snooping around my computer."

    "Guilty as charged," Liz agreed, moving to the foot of the bed. "But I did. So I know you're lying." She gestured at the monitor. "Come on. What are you looking at?"

    He glanced out the open window beside his desk at the lights of Manhattan's Upper East Side. They were burning hazy holes in the humid August night. "Some surf shop Web site. I'm gonna buy another board so I can--"

    "I bet you're looking at smut."

    Conner's eyes flashed to the screen. On it, a woman lay across a couch wearing a see-through teddy. She bore a strong resemblance to Liz--blond and slim with full, firm breasts straining at the frilly material.

    "Turn the monitor this way," Liz demanded, crawling onto the bed.

    Conner clicked back to his screen saver, a panoramic shot of a surfer emerging from the pipeline of a huge wave. But he was a second late.

    "I knew it," she said triumphantly, kneeling upright as she reached the edge of the mattress. She'd caught a glimpse of the image on the screen. "Aren't I enough?" she asked, slipping the T-shirt over her head and dropping it in his lap. "Or are you like most men? Obsessive about enjoying as many of us as possible."

    Conner let out a long, slow breath, admiring the work of art now on display. His eyes flickered down to the sapphire dangling from a gold ring in her navel. A body piercing seemed like the last thing a society girl would have, which was why he loved it. "I'm like most men," he confessed.

    "At least you can admit it," she murmured, slipping her arms around his neck and kissing him.

    Conner laughed softly as their lips parted.

    "What's so funny?"

    "What your father would say if he knew you were here."

    "He'd be horrified."

    "So he still thinks you're gonna marry Mr. Wonderful over at Morgan Sayers?"

    "I still am."

    She was always so damn blunt about it. At least she usually remembered to remove the other man's three carats when she was here.

    "Morgan Sayers is one of the world's top investment banks, and...
About the Author-
  • Stephen Frey is a principal at a Northern Virginia private equity firm. He previously worked in mergers and acquisitions at J. P. Morgan and as a vice president of corporate finance at an international bank in Midtown Manhattan. Frey is also the bestselling author of Silent Partner, The Day Trader, Trust Fund, The Insider, The Legacy, The Inner Sanctum, The Vulture Fund, and The Takeover.


    From the Hardcover edition.
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