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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the extraordinary Edgar-nominated debut novel Black Fridays, a sensational story of murder and financial corruption - and one man's continued search for redemption.

William von Becker ran one of the largest privately held investment banks in North America, until the bottom fell out, and the whole edifice was demonstrated to be a fraud.

After von Becker dies in prison, financial investigator Jason Stafford is hired by his family. There is still a lot of missing money out there, he's told, and they want Stafford to find it before the Feds do - and certain other parties, some of whom are nowhere near as scrupulous in their methods. Bad things start happening to the people Stafford talks to. Soon bad things are happening to him as well.

Making it worse, his treacherous ex-wife has come to town, ostensibly to visit their young son. Stafford suspects there's more to it than that, but even he has no idea how much that visit is about to change all their lives - and send him off to the next chapter of his life.

©2013 Michael Sears (P)2013 Penguin Audio

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Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 06-03-14

Way Beyond Terrific! But Read 'Black Fridays' 1st

Michael Sears has mastered alchemy. He's turned the lead of securities trading into precious reading. You know how a magician can do a trick right in front of you, then do it again and you're still agape? Sears has done it again in "Mortal Bonds" - this second Jason Stafford novel. "Black Fridays" was good, it worried me though that it wouldn't …. no… couldn't be done again. It was… Even better. My only regret is that there is no third Jason Stafford book to yet download.

John Bedford Lloyd is what Scott Brick should be and he has made a masterful difference over the reader of "Black Fridays". He can do voices, creates totally believable females. He handles nuance the way grand prix drivers handle curves. But, he stays invisible… In the best ensemble productions, it is a bad performer who stands out. Little wonder that Lloyd holds a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Lloyd is magnificent at allowing Michael Sears' creation to sing much like a great conductor will interpret a terrific composer. But, this seems to be the only Audible book he's read. PITY! The man is brilliant, no wonder he's appeared in scores of movies.

OK… this is too long and most won't read it. So just take my advice and start with "Black Fridays" and you'll come in at the beginning of the creation of this complex and clever Jason Stafford epic. Then listen to this pair of alchemists at work in "Mortal Bonds".

FIVE STARS ALL AROUND!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • tallevast, FL, United States
  • 05-23-14

Not as good as the first

I think Michael Sears is a really good writer. The narrator was good - But I liked the previous narrator in book one better - Or at least - I already have the first narrator in my head - So it is hard to say. This book was somewhere between o.k. & good. There were a lot of balls being juggled in this book and it was hard to stay focussed on all the players. I have three sons and a daughter - So when I hear Jason say "My beautiful son" It weirds me out a little. My boys are good looking - My daughter is beautiful - I think he tries to hard with the whole kid story to make us feel a connection. Michael is a very smart writer & I hope he takes his time and writes another good book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A good story, narrator not so good

Loved the first book. This one is also terrific with the interesting contrast of high finances, an autistic child and a mystery to solve on top of all. The best I can say about the reader, John Beford Lloyd, is that he was not distracting - but in long dialogues, especially between two men, there was no way to distinguish between the voices and know who was talking. At times, things became very confusing. The narrator of Black Fridays, the first book, Erik Bergmann, was quite good. Looking forward to a Book 3, with the original narrator I hope.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful Jason Stafford Novel

Mortal Bonds by Michael Sears is the second of a continuing series of two with hopefully many more to come. I fortunately grabbed the first as part of a 'first of a series' audible sale. What a gem. This is the reason that such a sale is a win/win for everyone. I will be a fan of Michael Sears for years to come.

Jason Stafford is a disgraced Wall Street trader turned financial investigator after a memorable prison stint. In Mortal bonds our hero chases a billion dollars that have vanished in the demise of a Ponzi-schemer. Stafford’s private life is equally complicated as he juggles his occupation with that of his autistic son, an ex-wife, a girlfriend and a host of other enjoyable characters in his life.

The secondary education received from this piece of recreational reading was as much a plus as is Michael Sears sense of humor.

John Beford Lloyd just did not do it for me though as narrator ….. with this book. I am sure with the right vehicle he would be superb.. Erik Bergmann, whom read Black Friday - the first in the series, was a truer Stafford. Lloyd has a “snootier” voice and delivery which made the pedestrian events in John Stafford's life little less believable and more trite.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Reader

I didn't care for the reader versus the first book but I got used to it. Overall great book.

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More knocks

Would you consider the audio edition of Mortal Bonds to be better than the print version?

Wow the audible edition was great, and I cannot imagine the print version being any better.

What other book might you compare Mortal Bonds to and why?

The son being autistic really made for a unique plot line... I know it peaked my interest throughout the book and wondering how the chain of events were going to impact the son.

Have you listened to any of John Beford Lloyd’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I time listener to john Lloyd buy I would willingly rate him with some of the best readers I have listened to

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I think held my interest start to finish would be more accurate, I even enjoyed this book more than Black Friday

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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This author should write more 'audible' books.

Would you consider the audio edition of Mortal Bonds to be better than the print version?

Only did the audible version and loved both Book 1 & 2.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Mortal Bonds?

Liked the several stories going at once, kept interest. Got some valuable understanding of things I did not understand before.

Which character – as performed by John Beford Lloyd – was your favorite?

Angie was so annoying, but interesting. Liked "the Kid" and all his quirks with the autism. Also liked Roger, funny and so 'street wise'.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Shocks at the outcome of the street shooting toward the end.

Any additional comments?

Had read Book 1 first and was very anxious to hear Book 2. Really missed the book when it came to an end.

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Another Wonderful Financial Thriller!

Michael Sears is not a “one hit” wonder. His second book is just as good as the first one which I enjoyed immensely. To enjoy this series fully, plan to read them in order so that you don’t miss out on the importance of the character relationships and the progress being made with the autistic son, “The Kid”.

I can’t say I understand these complex financial crimes from the first description, but the author does such a good job of keeping the story going until this Bernie Madoff type crime becomes obvious to the listener. I feel much smarter about financial dealings and crimes whenever I finish a Michael Sears book.

The narrator for this second story was good, but I must admit the narrator for the first book was outstanding.

I will definitely use my credit for the third book in this series, when it is available.