Firstly I wish to thank Alice Geary of Midas Public Relations for inviting me to take part on this Blog tour for TRADING DOWN by Stephen Norman
Trading Down by Stephen Norman is out now, published by Endeavour Press
Chris Peters loves his work in a multi-national bank: the excitement of the trading floor, the impossible deadlines and the constant challenge of the superfast computers in his care. And he loves his beautiful wife, Olivia. But over time, the dream turns sour. His systems crash, the traders turn on him, and Olivia becomes angry and disillusioned. So much bad luck.
Or is it? A natural detective, Chris finds evidence of something sinister in the mysterious meltdown of a US datacentre. A new kind of terrorist. But can he get anyone to believe him? His obsessive search leads him to a jihadist website, filled with violent images; a man beaten to a pulp in a Dubai carpark; and a woman in a gold sari dancing in the flames of her own destruction. Slowly, a tragic story from decades ago in Yemen emerges.
Too late, Chris understands the nature of the treachery, so close to him. His adversary knows every move and is ready to strike. Even his boss agrees: if this program is run, it will destroy this bank as surely as a neutron bomb. And Chris Peters has 48 hours to figure it out…
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
This story has a real feel as it sets the stage for the possibility of Cyber Terrorism one day grinding the world financial markets to a halt and it is absolutely fascinating. The story travels between different countries and time lines, the big financial players and the people who put their money and trust in banks, each a little cog that works smoothly together until one day a decision really puts a spanner in the works and sets in motion devastating consequences.
The opening chapters begin way back in 2007 in Yemen with a horrific scene that was an extremely powerful calling card. A brilliant mix of traditions, cultures and up to the minute financial traders in the modern world are woven together and unless the cause and reason behind the attacks on the major money players can be found out and neutralised then the world markets could take a dive they can not pull out of.
On a night shift at the US datacentre an event takes place so massive that a scapegoat has to be found because thinking that the alternative could be possible is just simply, well, unthinkable. Tense doesn’t even cover the pending disaster that could grind world trading to a halt and cause chaos at astronomical levels. This makes brilliant reading!
Chris Peters has a personal interest in delving into the reasons behind these attacks, a detective he isn’t but knowing his stuff and self preservation goes a long way, as suspects names are thrown into the mix and drawn out randomly as being responsible for the cyber attacks. Peters is a bloke that is real easy to like and get behind only thing is can he solve the problem before he is carried out kicking and screaming as culprit?
The story itself makes you pick up the pace of reading as each chapter has its own urgency about it. A story of smoke and mirrors, a race against time but mostly nerves of steel. It has a bit of everything, refreshing, thrilling and chilling.
Now there is a bit of jargon in the story, which to be honest I was fine with, in fact I learnt quite a bit. If you get stuck at any time too in the front of the book there is a Who is Who list of characters and explanation of Acronyms and Jargon used in the book which is always handy to look back at. Brilliant story!
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephen Norman spent 20 years at the forefront of investment banking IT, facing industry turbulence, from the rise and fall of the dotcoms, the destruction of 911 and the banking collapse of 2008. He has worked in financial centres across the world – from London and New York, to Hong Kong and Tokyo – and has fulfilled a range of high powered roles including Chief Technology Officer at Merrill Lynch and an unusually long 7 year stint as CIO of RBS Global Markets. In 2012, he left the world of finance to focus on his writing. Trading Down is Stephen’s first novel.