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Zero Sum (Wall Street Conspiracy Thriller)

Zero Sum (Wall Street Conspiracy Thriller) [Kindle Edition]

Russell Blake
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Present Day Wall Street. Where intelligence agencies and the financial industry are strange bedfellows, and the two worlds are often intertwined in disturbing ways.

In this chillingly plausible, controversial scenario of a military/industrial/financial complex run amok, Zero Sum pits Dr. Steven Archer Cross against powerful financier Nicholas Griffen in a conflict that raises troubling questions about our markets and our government.

Racing against the clock in a chase that spans continents, one man's battle to expose the Machiavellian machinations of a ruthless Wall Street marauder forces him into a financial jungle populated by every variety of unscrupulous sociopath - rogue intelligence agencies, Russian mafia oligarchs, drug cartels and terrorist networks.

As a white-collar game of chess transitions into a lethal real world cage-fight, Steven finds himself in a deadly showdown, where hunters can quickly become the hunted and blood is the ultimate currency.

Zero Sum is the first novel featuring Dr. Steven Archer Cross


Q & A for Zero Sum

Question: Where did the idea for Zero Sum come from?

RB: I thought the inside scoop of how a Wall Street pump and dump works would be a great framework for a thriller. The innate conspiracy begs to be told, and I also wanted to give some background on how the market actually functions.

Q: Zero Sum offers readers a look behind the curtain on Wall Street's dark side. Do you think there's much of an audience for that?

RB: With the current financial crisis & the emerging awareness that things are badly broken in the regulatory & law enforcement scheme, I think the novel's timely. Its depiction of Wall Street predators with their pet politicians, regulators & media cronies is spot on. I've found readers are fascinated once they understand it all.

Q: Zero Sum paints a picture of Wall Street that's at odds with the sanitized image in the media. Have you gotten any flack because of it?

RB: There's definitely a segment of the financial industry that would prefer nobody reads the book. The parasites that run the schemes described in it are alive & well & doing it every day, relying on the public's ignorance to prosper. There are some annoyed players who want this read about as much as they want a 60 Minutes crew at their office. It's a controversial story, & I'm not making any friends telling it.

Q: Your characters seem real, especially the Wall Street villain, intelligence operatives & mob goons. Are these based in fact?

RB: A good fiction author blends truth & fiction to the point where you aren't sure where the story starts & the facts leave off. Let's just say that the characters & scenarios that seem real, are likely that vivid & believable for a reason.

Q: What authors do you read & which have most influenced you?

RB: I grew up on Ludlum. Forsyth. Harris, Grisham. Fans of those authors will find my writing's similar - Bourne, Day of the Jackal, The Firm.

+ + +

Zero Sum features Dr. Steven Archer Cross, from The Voynich Cypher

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 687 KB
  • Print Length: 355 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1480279471
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Reprobatio Ltd (19 Sep 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,938 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Times, and The Chicago Tribune, Russell Blake is the USA Today bestselling author of thirty books, including Fatal Exchange, The Geronimo Breach, Zero Sum, King of Swords, Night of the Assassin, Revenge of the Assassin, Return of the Assassin, Blood of the Assassin, Requiem for the Assassin, The Delphi Chronicle trilogy, The Voynich Cypher, Silver Justice, JET, JET - Ops Files, JET II - Betrayal, JET III - Vengeance, JET IV - Reckoning, JET V - Legacy, JET VI - Justice, JET VII, Sanctuary, Upon A Pale Horse, BLACK, BLACK Is Back, BLACK Is The New Black, and BLACK To Reality.

Non-fiction includes the international bestseller An Angel With Fur (animal biography) and How To Sell A Gazillion eBooks In No Time (even if drunk, high or incarcerated), a parody of all things writing-related.

Blake co-authored an action/adventure novel, The Eye of Heaven, with legendary adventure author Clive Cussler, to be released by Penguin in September, 2014.

Blake writes as RE Blake in the NA/YA/Contemporary Romance genres.

A resident of Mexico for over twelve years, Blake enjoys his dogs, fishing, boating, tequila and writing, while battling world domination by clowns. His thoughts, such as they are, can be found at his blog:

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A timely Wall Street thriller 15 Mar 2012
By Dean
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I `met' Russell via the medium of Twitter and downloaded the first part of the Zero Sum Trilogy for free during one of his promos. I had no idea what I was getting into!

Quick intro: our hero, Dr Stephen Archer, spots strange behaviour around a particular companies stock - sudden announcements, followed by a share price rise and a flood of stock sales. Known as pump and dump', this practice is supposed to be illegal, but it's obviously not illegal enough.

So Stephen decides to unmask the company and the investment fund behind the artificial share price rises and sets up a whistle-blowing website. Unbeknownst to him, investors in the group include the Mafia, Russians and the CIA. And, while he's careful, he's not careful enough and they track him down. This is just the beginning of the story which sees him do his best to drop off the grid and go on a global adventure without getting anyone killed, while doing his best to expose the whole thing.

I found the story very readable - meaning I got sucked in and had to know what happened. It's a scary look at the people who manipulate the stock market to their own ends and, in light of the financial disaster of the last few years, a bit worrying. The characters were believable (for the most part) and were appealing enough to gain my empathy.

The only annoyance I had was the fact Russell made this a trilogy; it didn't feel like a trilogy to me, more like a book that had been broken into three parts (and I bought the last two parts). Perhaps that's why it's now available as a single Kindle volume.

Still it's an entertaining read and worth a look, if only to see how market forces can be manipulated to the benefit of a few and the detriment of the rest.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Financial thrills 16 Dec 2011
By The Emperor TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a very decent financial thriller. This is a boring thing to say about an indie book but it could easily have been put out by a large publishing house.
It is very well edited.

Part two is a bit slow going in many respects. Not much really happens. It is a fairly easy and enjoyable read but there is too much of a lull between action scenes and the hero is a bit too passive. However I did quite like reading it.

The book picks up considerably in part three. There were several good action scenes. Again the financial stuff all seemed to make sense and in general it was plausible and realistic.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Zero Sum trilogy and in particular it was good to read a financial thriller that seemed to be seriously researched.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read 31 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although what goes on in Wall Street is - like it or not - of great importance to us all, I never previously thought that the details of what takes place there could be of much interest. Wrong! The tale of corruption, and the fight to expose same, as set out in this book, kept me on the edge of my seat. The story proceeds at a great pace and twists and turns delightfully. The protagonist, Steven Cross, emerges from the pages as a courageous, enterprising and likeable character, though I have to say that his lack of anticipation of the extent of the trouble that he would experience during his crusade against corruption shows that his character is a bit short on foresight. Still, this character weakness only makes the story more enjoyable!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devastating Look at Wall Street Corruption 22 Dec 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
If you like your thrillers reality-based and chock full of action, Russell Blake's your man. The Zero Sum trilogy provides a devastatingly detailed portrayal of the pump and dump Wall Street stock scams, the players behind those scams, and the far-ranging consequences one man endures when he threatens a key Wall Street manipulator. Another reviewer described the books as a classic battle between David and Goliath, and I agree.

The action is fast-paced, the characters painfully flawed in their choices, the story-line far too close to reality for many an investment banker or government official. Settle in and prepare to be both entertained and educated when you read the Zero Sum trilogy. Blake is an author who easily walks the bright line between reality and fiction, leaving you wondering where truth ends and the story begins.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. 4 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read first The Voynich Cypher and I was very impressed by it and enjoyed it thoroughly. So, I decided to get this, as it is the first of the Dr. Steven Cross Series . I thought that I might not like it because I do not know anything about Wall Street and financial transactions (except spending money)but fear unfounded, you do not need to be a financial consultant to read the book.
Basically, Zero Sum is the story of a ''little guy'' who takes on the ''big bad guys'' who are cheating people. The plot comes from an actual story and is very well elaborated. It is very fast paced, a lot of action but when you think that you need to catch your breath, you have a bit of reprieve when Dr Cross's pursuers lost his trail and he has a few days of peace. Dr Cross is the hero who survives attempts on his life, who escape an hurricane, who unmasks the nasties and who, in the middle of his running, find love. But he is torn because some of his closest friends have not been so lucky and died helping him. Of course, he has had help all along the way, and this is what make the book so real. Dr Cross is not a super hero. He does what he has to do because once he has put the ball rolling, he has no choice but to carry on. To give up would be to die in vain.
I have learned a lot of interesting things about the financial world and the Internet. Zero Sum is definitely not Chick Lit, but I think it will appeal to readers who usually read cosy mysteries (like me) because Dr Cross is a very charismatic character and a bit of James Bond (without the gadgets and special effects).
I think Mr Russel Blake will become one of my favourite authors and I wish he could be published in paper books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Zero sum
Good read a bit long in the details good people with a good story, great locations with a good ending
Published 2 months ago by paul tt
4.0 out of 5 stars terrific book
Would highly recommend. A page turner from beginning to end. Rusell Blake writes an excellent thriller. Can't wait to read others
Published 6 months ago by damosilvers
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
Another excellent read from Russell Blake.yet again I didn't want to put it down. I have read most of his books and will be reading the rest. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Kerry
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good read
Have read quite a few of Russell Blake books and wasn't disappointed with this book very well written with a good story line,you won't be disappointed when you pick it up.
Published 15 months ago by james mckenzie
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting Stuff!
This is the first Russell Blake book I've read and it won't be my last. I found Zero Sum to be riveting, enthralling, believable and it's the first in a trilogy! Read more
Published 21 months ago by Wendy Cartmell
5.0 out of 5 stars Wall Street the side we don't see
A gripping look at the bad side of wall street. From the start you want Cross to take down Griffen and hope everyone can see this happen. Read more
Published 21 months ago by HanT
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
This has all the ingredients for a good read. Good plot, well thought out, fast paced and as well written as many today

Just the job for your kindle when you're after a... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Rod
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good
Steven is an independently wealthy man intent on exposing Wall Street corruption. Specifically, he is out to expose an individual who is manipulating stock prices for massive... Read more
Published 22 months ago by johnverp
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