Andrew Gross began his career as a co-author with James Patterson on five bestselling novels, and under Patterson’s guiding hand a star was born.
With the release of his fourth solo effort, Reckless, Gross has now far surpassed his mentor. Reckless is a timely and important thriller that speaks to the heart of the current global financial crisis and is reminiscent of some of Patterson’s ‘meatier’ past efforts like The Jericho Commandment.
Reckless features former Greenwich, CT, police officer Ty Hauck, who starred in his last effort, Don’t Look Now. Ty now works with a global security firm named Talon and has begun a personal relationship with a local restaurant owner who is a single mom raising an autistic son.
Reckless opens with a prologue that features an international conspiracy involving enemies of the United States working with investment bankers at top Wall Street firms to perpetrate deals that will cripple the U.S. economy. Whereby the attacks of 9/11 were physical in nature - with hijacked airplanes striking at the heart of Wall Street and the American financial district - the attacks outlined in this novel present a terrorist attack even more plausible and threatening. It is almost as if Andrew Gross were recounting what actually took place with the current economic recession and downfall of investment giants like Bear Stearns.
In Reckless, a few fictional investment firms fall as part of the ‘reckless’ investments made by a handful of top Wall Street investors. What follows shortly thereafter is the elimination of these players as well as their families. Unfortunately for the bad guys in this novel, Ty Hauck happened to be good friends with the wife of one of these investment bankers and takes it upon himself to investigate when she is brutally murdered by armed assassins in her Connecticut mansion. As Ty begins his investigation, he unwittingly puts himself in the crosshairs of some powerful enemies who will stop at nothing to eliminate anyone standing in their way. To make matters worse, Ty begins to suspect that his own firm, Talon, may be involved. As his involvement is made public, an attempt is made on his life while he attending the hockey game of his new girlfriend’s son. Hauck realizes he cannot fight this battle alone and needs to combine efforts with the U.S. Treasury Department to bring down enemies seeking to destroy the United States from the inside.
The writing here is outstanding, and the pace does not allow for the reader to take a breath. What makes Reckless such a great read is the plausibility of the threats it outlines. It is a learning experience for anyone seeking to know more about the inner workings of international finance and a cautionary tale for how real the threat of financial decimation is to our country. Kudos to Andrew Gross for taking the modern-thriller genre to another level of intensity. It will be hard for Gross and his protagonist Ty Hauck to top this effort.