The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

January 4, 2008

Book review: Finder's 'Power Play' is a fast-paced thriller

‘Power Play’

By Joseph Finder (compact disc audiobook)

The setting for Joseph Finder’s latest corporate thriller is a very remote Canadian fishing lodge decked out with all the fine amenities, with the exception of cell phones or BlackBerry devices.

Cheryl Tobin, CEO of Hammond Aerospace, and the company’s top brass gather there for a company retreat for “team-building” exercises. Cheryl was named CEO when the former CEO dropped dead of a heart attack. Needless to say, Hammond’s other executives are deeply resentful of Cheryl’s appointment.

A few days before the retreat, a competitor’s newly designed plane crashes at a Paris air show, resulting in millions of dollars in contracts for Hammond’s new jet. Vice-president Michael Zorn sends his assistant, Jake Landry, to the retreat in his place. Jake feels more than a little out of place among the executives sporting Rolex watches and bragging about their wealth. Complicating matters further, his ex-girlfriend, Ali Hillman, who is the CEO’s assistant, is also on the trip.

As the company leaders sit down to dinner on the first night, a group of hunters armed with military weapons take over the compound. It turns out that their plan is to hold Hammond’s finest for a huge ransom. But there are questions — how did they know that Hammond’s top brass would be gathered at this remote location? Did someone inside the organization provide this information and if so, what is the motive?

The author alludes to Jake Landry’s dark background in flashbacks throughout the novel. Jake is the only one who has the skills that it takes to outwit the hunters and keep everyone from getting killed.

“Power Play,” a suspenseful story with a strong plot, memorable characters and fast-paced action, is definitely an edge-of-your seat thriller. Dennis Boutsikaris does an excellent job as narrator for this audiobook.

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