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The Day Trader

Cover of The Day Trader

The Day Trader

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Some people risk everything once in their lives.
Day traders do it every time they go to work.


The exhilarating and addictive world of point-and-click stock market trading takes on a lethal new dimension in this riveting thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Insider and Trust Fund.

Augustus McKnight wants a better life than the one he's got: toiling as a sales rep for a paper products company and suspecting his wife, Melanie, of cheating on him. His only solace is managing his tiny stock portfolio. . . hoping to strike it rich. Then a shrewd investment actually earns him a windfall. But it's too late to save his marriage. In a bitter, violent confrontation, Melanie admits to a secret affair and demands a divorce. One day later, she is found brutally murdered. And Augustus is the sole beneficiary of her million-dollar life insurance policy.

Suddenly, Augustus has the better life he's always longed for--but at a devastating price. To escape his pain, he plunges into the world of the full-time day trader, surrounded by like-minded loners who risk it all to run with the bulls and bears. Yet even as his financial fortunes begin to soar, dark circumstances threaten to send his life into a tailspin. A suspicious insurance investigator is determined to prove that Augustus committed the murder to get the million. And a relentless police detective is watching Augustus's every move--with the help of a mystery informant.

Augustus's only ally has is Vincent Carlucci--an old friend and high-living player, who offers Augustus a sweet gig managing the money of some big shots who'll pay handsome commissions on winning investments. But when the deal is sealed with a night on the town at an exclusive after-hours club, Augustus stumbles on the first of many shocking revelations about the events that have rocked his world--and discovers he is both a pawn in a complex game of manipulation and betrayal . . . and the target of a twisted quest for revenge.

The Day Trader is as thrilling--and terrifying--as gambling on a hot stock in this lightning-fast world where fortunes are made or lost at the touch of a button, where being rich means being ruthless, and where quick wits and killer instinct make the difference between success and slaughter.

From the Hardcover edition.
Some people risk everything once in their lives.
Day traders do it every time they go to work.


The exhilarating and addictive world of point-and-click stock market trading takes on a lethal new dimension in this riveting thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Insider and Trust Fund.

Augustus McKnight wants a better life than the one he's got: toiling as a sales rep for a paper products company and suspecting his wife, Melanie, of cheating on him. His only solace is managing his tiny stock portfolio. . . hoping to strike it rich. Then a shrewd investment actually earns him a windfall. But it's too late to save his marriage. In a bitter, violent confrontation, Melanie admits to a secret affair and demands a divorce. One day later, she is found brutally murdered. And Augustus is the sole beneficiary of her million-dollar life insurance policy.

Suddenly, Augustus has the better life he's always longed for--but at a devastating price. To escape his pain, he plunges into the world of the full-time day trader, surrounded by like-minded loners who risk it all to run with the bulls and bears. Yet even as his financial fortunes begin to soar, dark circumstances threaten to send his life into a tailspin. A suspicious insurance investigator is determined to prove that Augustus committed the murder to get the million. And a relentless police detective is watching Augustus's every move--with the help of a mystery informant.

Augustus's only ally has is Vincent Carlucci--an old friend and high-living player, who offers Augustus a sweet gig managing the money of some big shots who'll pay handsome commissions on winning investments. But when the deal is sealed with a night on the town at an exclusive after-hours club, Augustus stumbles on the first of many shocking revelations about the events that have rocked his world--and discovers he is both a pawn in a complex game of manipulation and betrayal . . . and the target of a twisted quest for revenge.

The Day Trader is as thrilling--and terrifying--as gambling on a hot stock in this lightning-fast world where fortunes are made or lost at the touch of a button, where being rich means being ruthless, and where quick wits and killer instinct make the difference between success and slaughter.

From the Hardcover edition.
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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    I'm not a religious man, but I make the sign of the cross over my heart just in case. The way I do every time I start. After all, the next few seconds could change my life forever.Employees aren't supposed to use company Internet access for personal reasons, but lots of us violate the policy and no one's ever been fired for it. Jesus, they only pay me thirty-nine thousand dollars a year to be an assistant sales rep for retail paper products in the mid-Atlantic region. So the way I see it, I deserve a perk or two along the way. I've dedicated eleven years to this company, but my wife and I still live paycheck to paycheck, even though she has a full-time job too.

    Images flash across my computer screen, and I quickly reach the home page of the on-line brokerage firm I use to trade my small stock portfolio. As I enter the information required to access my account, adrenaline surges through me, like it always does when I get to this point. It's as if I've bought a lotto ticket with a fifty-million-dollar jackpot, and I have that lucky feeling tingling in my veins.

    Name: Augustus McKnight

    Password: Cardinal

    Account Number: YTP1699

    My fingertips race across the keyboard as I close in on my target, and I pause for a sip of coffee and a deep breath. The deal is only a few screens away, and I'm addicted to the anticipation--so I prolong it. It's one of the few things I look forward to these days. This morning, as I guided my rusting Toyota through bumper-to-bumper northern Virginia traffic and thick summer humidity, I had a premonition that today would be different. That something was going to interrupt my daily grind. But I've had that feeling before.

    There's a sharp knock and my eyes shift to the office doorway. Standing there is my boss, Russell Lake, vice president of all paper product sales. Russell is a slender man with thinning brown hair, a full mustache, and a pasty complexion. He leans into my cramped office, one hand on the doorknob, peering at me over wire-rimmed glasses. And I stare back like a boy caught digging in the cookie jar just before dinner.

    "Good morning, Augustus."

    I can tell by the intensity in Russell's eyes that he's trying to figure out what I'm doing on my computer, but I've positioned it so someone standing at the door can't see the screen. "Hello," I say warily. You never know what he's up to.

    "Up with the eagles this morning?"

    "What do you mean by that?"

    "It's only eight o'clock," he says sarcastically, tapping the cracked crystal face of the same Timex he wore the day he interviewed me more than a decade ago. He's always been sarcastic. That's just the way he is. "Aren't you usually crawling out of bed about now?"

    I'm in by seven thirty almost every morning, sometimes earlier, but there's no point in arguing. Like most bosses, Russell has a convenient memory.

    "What are you working on?" he asks.

    "Cold fusion."

    "Very funny," he says, moving into the office. "Tell me the truth."

    I'm tempted to flick off the computer, but that would be a dead giveaway I'm doing something wrong. "I'm updating a sales report for central Virginia," I say, hoping he doesn't walk around to my side of the desk. "Nothing exciting."

    "Checking your stock portfolio again?"

    Russell blurs before me. "What?"

    He settles into a chair on the other side of my desk, an annoying smile tickling the corners of his mouth. "I know all about your day trading." He snickers. "You're on that computer at least two hours a day doing research, checking quotes, and placing orders." Russell removes his glasses and cleans the dirty lenses with his striped polyester tie....

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 The Takeover, The Vulture Fund, The Inner Sanctum, The Legacy, The Insider, and Trust Fund.


    From the Hardcover edition.
Reviews-
  • Orlando Sentinel "MASTERFUL . . . The Day Trader cashes in on the recent market craze, but with much more success than a lot of the dot-com IPOs."
  • San Jose Mercury News "A TRUE PAGE-TURNER . . . GOOD ENTERTAINMENT."
  • The Globe and Mail "ONE OF HIS BEST [FINANCIAL THRILLERS] BY FAR."
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    Random House Publishing Group
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.
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