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Reviewed by Joe Tackett
arket meltdown, the Dow plunging to scary depths not witnessed for decades, and a nation on the brink. Like the victim of a schoolyard sucker-punch, the U.S. money market bleeds retirement plans, blown nest eggs, and dashed hopes and dreams. The ensuing butterfly effect we know well. Construction slowed to a crawl as the mortgage market collapsed upon itself. Banks no longer loaned money. Homes went into foreclosure and families headed to divorce court. Contractors flee to bankruptcy court seeking protection from their many creditors, while two rows over sits the family for whom they built a home for. A frightened nation seeks its footing and looks for answers.
Andrew Gross’s “Reckless” gives us the answers wrapped in 404 pages of fast moving conspiracy-driven prose laudable for its plausibility. The book starts with a jolt, the haunting words “…the planes are in the air” inviting the reader to relive that horrifying day of many Septembers ago. And then they meet Ty Hauck, a stud police detective who takes early retirement and lands on his feet at one of Wall Street’s top security firms. Things were looking up for Hauck. He had a woman and even played hockey dad to the woman’s kid. Not to mention, he was making pretty good coin with the high powered security firm. But then a family is murdered in an apparent robbery-murder scenario. Sadly enough, not that much of a shocker in today’s society, but this is different to Hauck – personal. He begins to nose around, not blind to the fact that his old friend’s husband, murdered as well, was a trader at one of the big firms on the Street. And he wasn’t the only Wall Street trader to die an unnatural death since the market crash, another fact not eluding Hauck’s practiced eye.
Assigned a case as a gesture to one of the firm’s favored clients, Hauck’s investigation turns up hot leads and the story’s obligatory female foil in the form of U.S. Treasury Agent, Naomi Blum. Together they stalk a trail recklessly strewn with the money and corpses left in the wake of international financiers gone rogue. Facing danger at every turn, the duo jets across the globe in a race for the very life and security of the country.
When all is said and done, I can’t see the harm in tucking “Reckless” by the beach towel and Frisbee the next time you take off for vacation. An easy read, it flows well and smoothly switches scenes and characters by the copious use of short chapters, making it perfect for putting down and picking up again without missing a beat.