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Saving Jason: A Jason Stafford Novel    by Michael Sears order for
Saving Jason
by Michael Sears
Order:  USA  Can
Putnam, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Saving Jason follows Long Way Down as the fourth in a financial thriller series starring ex-Wall Street trader Jason Stafford, who spent two years in a federal prison and now works as a financial investigator. His ex-wife Angie was murdered by South American drug cartel thugs, while protecting their small autistic son (another Jason, called the Kid). Jason senior is in a relationship with Skeli who's in the process of opening a health clinic, and is pregnant with their child.

The novel opens on the death of financial adviser Mark Barstow, not by the gunmen who came after him, but mistakenly by the police who came to save him. Jason Stafford gets involved when he conducts a fraud investigation for his boss, Virgil Becker, CEO of an investment bank. This time, he's found a 'pesky pattern' connected to a Long Island property. When he drives out there, he's attacked by both thugs and aggressive bisons.

Next, Virgil asks Jason to look into a possible hostile takeover of the firm. Then he's contacted by FBI Special Agent Marcus Brady, whose associates ask him about his recent investigation and about Barstow, who's unknown to him but had apparently been about to go before a grand jury on securities fraud and had hinted about something big relating to Virgil's firm. They are sure that Jason knows something (which he doesn't) and the pressure mounts.

Meanwhile the bank has a new hire, an executive named Nealis. Jason doesn't like him, sensing 'a core of cold ambition and arrogance.' When pressure from the Feds escalates, Jason calls on his hacker friend Richard Hannay for help. But he ends up with no choice but witness protection after the FBI falsely leak that he agreed to testify and there are attempts on his life. This is not a good situation for the Kid who doesn't deal well with change.

The violence continues, the Kid goes missing, and it's up to Jason to find him in the New Mexico backcountry, with killers not far behind. Finally, he and his friends figure out how to use their financial expertise to defeat the bad guys - and it's quite a plan. If you enjoy financial thrillers, don't miss this series.

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