The Ascendant-Drew Chapman

The Ascendant
Drew Chapman
Simon & Schuster, Jan 7 2014, $25.00
ISBN: 9781476725888

Twenty-six year old Garrett Reilly lives in two states: anger at the world and being high. He is also Wall Street’s top bond trader because he quickly recognizes number patterns that no one else notices. He informs his boss at Jenkins & Altshuler, Avery Bernstein that the Chinese are selling off two hundred billion dollars of treasuries bought twelve years ago through Dubai-based Al Samir trading house by an unknown client. Garrett explains their plan to flood the market with debt and destroy the dollar. He further tells Avery they also can make a fortune on this.

DIA overhears Avery’s call to Treasury re Chinese selling of American debt. Major General Kline sends Captain Alexis Truffant, who insisted the Chinese declared war in a type never seen before, to test if Garrett is the Ascendant. In minutes, Garrett identifies who she is and why she seeks him out; except he hates the military since his brother died in combat in Afghanistan. DIA places hostile Garrett in charge of the modern day Cold War operations using market manipulation as the WMDs.

With a nod to the TV show Numb3rs but on a global scale, The Ascendant is a tense thriller that grips readers from the moment Garrett reads the pattern and never slows down as actions affirms his distrust of both sides in the monetary war. The protagonist is a fascinating antihero ironically placed in the position of saving a world he loathes by those he detests. Although the motive for the Chinese actions seem over the top of the Great Wall, readers will appreciate this action-packed tale as the latest “War to End All Wars” fought by a different set of numbers.

Harriet Klausner

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