Black Fridays used an unlikely protagonist to lead the novel. Jason Stafford had only recently been released from prison for embezzling half a billion dollars when he was recruited to investigate the unbalanced accounts of a high-powered investment firm in New York. What made Jason such a unique character was that he took responsibility for his less than admirable actions, and only really regretted getting caught, not actually stealing the money.
There were two stories here that converged about two-thirds of the way in to the novel. Jason’s son, nicknamed “kid”, was autistic and after seeing the way his mother and grandmother treated him, Jason took the boy home to live with him. But, Kid’s unpredictable personality made it difficult for Jason to instill any discipline, and the boy basically ran around and did what he pleased. Kid was a savant when it came to cars, and I hoped that his knowledge would be a crucial point to the story later on, and was disappointed when Kid’s skills were not utilized as I had hoped.
As the investigator to the investment firm, Jason was stonewalled by most of the employees, but he was determined to uncover the truth so that he could get the large payout promised to him for his work. I was disappointed with the way this entire story line was executed. The characters lacked personality and Jason’s approach was hardly an investigation at all. He did little to unearth the cause of the discrepancy, which was resolved without much effort by someone else at the end. There was a component of danger to Jason near the end, which I just felt came out of nowhere.
This novel is called a thriller, but I found it to be slow to read and very hard to get through. The most interesting part of the novel was in the very beginning when Jason described his own embezzlement.