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Black Fridays (Jason Stafford #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,544 Ratings  ·  287 Reviews

Sometimes a man can be redeemed. But not in the way he expects.

Jason Stafford is a former Wall Street hotshot who made some bad moves, paid the price with two years in prison, and is now trying to put his life back together. He’s unemployable, until an investment firm asks him to look into possible problems left by a junior trader who died recently in an accident. What h

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Hardcover, 341 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Putnam Adult (first published September 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30)
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Tim The Enchanter
Posted to The Literary Lawyer.ca

Not Your Regular Crime Fiction - 4.5 Stars

I'm not sure how I ended up with this book, but suffice to say, I enjoyed it immensely. If you read a lot of crime fiction, you may eventually get bored with the never ending stream of murders and the surprisingly common serial killer. Black Fridays offers the reader a surprising and interesting look at white collar crime.

Plot Summary

Jason Stafford is a former Wall Street manager/trader. He lived a fast paced life
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Julie
Black Fridays by Michael Sears is a 2012 Putnam publication.

Wall Street and white collar crimes that lead to murder and perhaps a little retribution in the end makes for an interesting combination, and it almost works, but not quite.



After his release from prison, Jason finds a job working for a securities firm, using his unique skills to uncover discrepancies and corruption. Jason’s personal life is also a big part of the story as he reunites with his autistic son, dubbed, ‘the kid.’ Saving th
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Cathy DuPont
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not one to buy paperbacks at CVS paying full price...I like used bookstores, thrift stores and Friends of the Library book sales to purchase books.

So it was surprising to me that when I got home and began putting things away, I found this book; a book which I picked up, read the blurb on the back saying "Nominated for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel and the International Thriller Writers' Best First Novel Award..." and remembered, "Oh, that's why I picked this up at full paperback pric
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KarenC
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommended to KarenC by: Edgar nomination

Takes advantage of two current topics - Financial crime and an autistic child - and creates a novel with two nearly separate plots. Stafford, newly released from prison after embezzling funds while a Wall Street trader, arrives home to find his ex-wife and son gone and himself unemployable. He quickly locates his family and amazingly gets a job all in the same week. What luck! He's also lucky his probation officer doesn't find out about his quick trip to Louisiana to liberate his autistic son fr

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Pamela Detlor
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Black Fridays grabbed my attention from the first page and held it through to the last. This is a story about being flawed and human. It's a story about redemption. The pace is fast, the story is good. I was never quite sure who the "mastermind" was. You don't have to understand the workings of Wall Street to get into the story. Sears provides all of the information necessary to keep up with the flow. Definitely a great read for anyone who enjoys a thriller.

Beyond the wall street corruption ang
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Oliver Schnusenberg
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great first book by Michael Sears. Totally off topic, but does anybody else out there ever think how weird it is that we are criticizing people for their writing, yet we (well, at least me) are not writers?? In a way, anyone who goes through the torture of writing a book and getting it published deserves the highest kudos!

Anyway, I thought the plot was good. I work in the finance area, so I could follow most of the discussion. I did find myself thinking that the jargon may be a little hard for o
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Vivian
Oct 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Black Fridays begins with Jason Stafford's release from prison. He returns to New York City and hopes to start a new life with his ex-wife and child. Unfortunately Jason's ex has not gone along with the game plan. Jason had patiently explained to Angie that they needed to get a divorce and transfer assets from his name to hers in an effort to protect her and retain money before he was indicted. He thought she understood that the divorce was only a ruse and they would get back together once his l ...more
Viccy
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
This was a fast, light and entertaining read. Jason Stafford is returning to the world after a two year stint in jail for securities fraud. Now he is unemployable on Wall Street, but he is hired as a consultant to go through the books of a firm facing an SEC inquiry, following the murder of a trader. At first, Jason cannot find anything wrong, then patterns begin to emerge. Meanwhile, Jason's ex-wife has taken his autistic son back home to Louisiana and Jason risks violating his parole to fetch ...more
Zora
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Pretty well written, but I didn't like the main character and I hated the son, who's there for pathos and to manipulate us into liking the main character more, but it had the opposite effect on me. Yes, it's mean of me to hate disabled children, even fictional ones, but the thought that the father took him to restaurants and on planes, where I might be, made me hate him nonetheless. Spew ketchup on me when I'm dressed up to go out on my one night a year I go out to eat, and I'm going to freak ou ...more
Rita
May 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
The book started out strong & I enjoyed the Wall Street verbiage & smart ass attitude. However, it went downhill for me with the introduction of the autistic kid (my mind let out a groan as soon as he was brought into the story) and "Wanda". "Wanda" was 1 dimensional at best & her motivations for being around the main character weren't believable. The Kid was tiresome & seemed as a manipulative to project a human face on the main character. Kidnapping the kid back and forth came ...more
Linda
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
A lot of interesting elements come together nicely here. High stakes Wall Street trading. White collar crime peppered with a few suspicious dead bodies. Single dad with a special needs kid. A couple of not-so-charming characters from N'awlins. A family run neighborhood dive bar, with warm and quirky regulars.

The pacing of Black Fridays was great for me. The audio narrator was excellent.
There were just a couple of times when I had trouble believing the protagonist's actions, and those moments pul
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Skip
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
3.75 stars. Jason Stafford is paroled from prison, and comes home to find his wife has fled south with their autistic son. Jason is tapped to investigate irregularities at a securities firm, and quickly finds there is a significant fraud. Meanwhile, he brings his son back to NYC, and is then assaulted by his ex-wife's psycho husband. Fast-paced, but over the top at various points.
Donna
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jason Stafford is released from prison and his father picks him up. Jason returns to his home in New York hoping to reunite with his wife and son. Finding that his wife has packed up and moved back to her hometown with his son, Jason is feeling scorned.

Jason still has his apartment and some money left in his account, so, he moves back to his apartment and manages to grab a job with a securities firm on Wall Street looking into any discrepancies and corruption. Seems to be a big merger in the wor
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Rob Waiser
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaway-win
I received this pre-publication book through a Goodreads giveaway and was very pleasantly surprised. It is a quick, easy read that kept me engaged from start to finish. The author weaves together a thriller about corruption on Wall Street and the story of a man getting to know his autistic son.
As the brother-in-law of an individual with autism, I found myself nodding along with many of the main character's feelings and observations about the latter.
The Wall Street story was gripping enough to ke
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FrankieReads
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
More like Blah Friday.
The premise of this book is pretty good, but it misses the mark. The infusion of the main character's personal struggles with the main story line is clunky at best. The half-hearted attempt to throw a romantic interest into the fire could have been omitted. Ultimately, the story falls flat. Maybe it was too long? Maybe there wasn't enough action? I'm not sure. I think it was a combination of all these things that will keep me from pursuing the second book in this series.
Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Black Fridays by Michael Sears is a novel which capitalizes on the author’s Wall Street experience providing interesting insights on financials capers. This is a first book by Mr. Sears and seems to be the first of a series.

Jason Stafford has spent the past two years in jail after being caught running a Wall Street scam. Now the unemployable trader is trying to put his life back together.

A Wall Street firm has hired him to investigate some issues which a junior trader might have had before he ac
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Barry
Oct 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Black Friday is the first work by Michael Sears that I have read, but (you know what's coming) it won't be the last. The story revolves around Jason Stafford, a previously very successful Wall Street trader who has just completed two years in prison for trading shenanigans (a technical financial term). He has an autistic son who had been in the care of his singularly immature and irresponsible yet gorgeous and quite fetching wife (sound familiar?). Jason accepts a consulting assignment with a Wa ...more
John
Apr 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
It says quite a lot for the skills of Michael Sears that I not only got to the end of this book but read late into the night in order to do so, because Wall Street and its activities (and its traders) are really quite alien from my natural interests; I still don't understand the scam that's at the heart of the plot.

If we leave that bit of it aside, the thriller part of the plot works with all the efficiency you could require: an effective page-turner. But what makes the book so very much more ca
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PDXReader
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
This novel really has two main threads. The first involves a high-stakes financial murder mystery ala The Pelican Brief or The Firm (except involving Wall Street traders instead of lawyers). The financial intracacies get a little wonky at times, to the point that it does slow the action and can be confusing for those of us who have zero understanding of the various types of stock market trades. The last third of the book makes up for this, however, with a fast-paced, page-turning resolution.

The
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Wdmoor
Congratulations Michael Sears, Black Fridays was a pleasant surprise. The library was about to close and I grabbed this off the shelf without giving it a close look. Lucky me. If I'd realized it was about an ex-Wall Street trader turned convict attempting to connect with his autistic son after two years in prison I would have put it back on the shelf, and I would have missed a great book.

Not only is this a good human interest story, which I normally avoid, it's an inside look at the world of tra
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Cathy
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, series, bookclubs
I really liked this book. I did find the Wall Street buying and selling a bit beyond me, but I thought the author did a pretty good job in explaining it. The parts of that I wasn't too clear on, I just let wash over me and paid more attention to the rest of the story. I loved Jason and The Kid. I loved their relationship, such as it was and learned more about autism than I'd known previously. Jason is definitely a flawed character (but aren't we all?), but he's a good person at heart and he show ...more
Tom Tischler
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
After two years in a federal prison Jason Stafford is no longer
welcome on Wall Street. But because of his financial crime knowledge
one firm wants him to quietly look for irregularities in the book
of one of their junior traders whose body was just pulled from
Long Island Sound. Raising an autistic five year old alone Jason
can't refuse this lucrative offer. This job s supposed to last two
weeks but soon he's facing threats, intimidation and more people
are dying. Now Jason must fight for his life
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Sarah
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This confident debut accomplishes something that would make many an author seethe with jealousy: flawed, complicated characters who are utterly likable. The financial plot explores a Wall Street that we've come to know well, the one run by self-preservationists. But main character Jason Stafford's views on it all--and on his two years in prison--add the color and heart which make the book a great read, and a page turner.
My affection for this book was not hurt by the comfortable depictions o
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Michael
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Good mechanics, good pace, reasonable plot, but ugh. Two things.

1) The treatment of women is pretty bad. If you're sensitive to that, best to stay away. For example: the mother of the protagonists child is an underwear model whom he met on the job. Not one nice word is said about her disposition or anything other than her body. Why would he want to get back together with her? Unclear.

2) Ultimately, this book needs you to buy into the premise that wall street traders are good, decent people. It
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Katherine Clark
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
What a wonderful book! I heard about it on 4MA, and man, it is terrific. It takes place on Wall Street and involves financial shenanigans. The writer is so good at creating characters, and manages to create edge on your seat suspense constantly, even with simple interactions between characters. I am saying this badly--what I mean is, one of the characters is the protag's autistic son. Initially, I was afraid I would find the book boring because of the Kid; instead, the relationship between fathe ...more
Mike
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a great first effort being both a financial thriller and a story about an autistic child. I thought the latter story would prove tedious but on the contrary, it was very interesting and made me think outside the box about the problem. On the financial front, Sears knows of what he speaks and he keeps the story moving along at a good clip. All in all, this is a solid four-plus start to a new series.
Maddy
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads
RATING: 4.0

Jason Stafford went to prison for financial shenanigans committed while he was in the investment industry. He's taken a short-term consulting job to look at the trades of a man who died in an accident. He finds something big, and is in danger as a result. At the same time, he has taken custody of his autistic son, "The Kid". The autism thread is fascinating, showing the challenges of parenting an autistic child. The financial stuff is understandable. A very good debut.
Mommann
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I won an advance copy of Black Fridays through Goodreads and am very glad I did. The only downside is my longer wait to read what happens next to Jason Stafford and The Kid.

Based in the world of Wall Street, this is a great paced thriller that hooks you on the first page & keeps you engaged throughout. The characters are flawed, likable and have depth.

I'm a big reader of crime drama / thrillers and I can say this is the best I have read in a very long time.
Sandi
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
A surprisingly good read. I picked this up because it was nominated for an Edgar and an Anthony for best first in 2013 but was not overly intrigued by the book's jacket description. The financial thriller plot though was fast paced and very readable and I actually found the relationship between the main character and his autistic son non-cringe worthy.
Rebecca
Jan 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Loved this book! Despite Jason being an extremely flawed character, there was something extremely likable about him. I'd recommend this book for Harlan Coben fans, it's fast paced, dryly funny and has a cast of interesting characters. I just downloaded the second one in the series.
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“I imagined there were more pleasant things to do on a late-summer morning than pick up your only son from prison.” 1 likes
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