News & Politics

Silent Partner

Angela Day has more secrets than the butterfly tattoo on her hip.

 Angela Day has more secrets than the butterfly tattoo on her hip. Although she’s a vice president at Richmond’s Sumter Bank, she stands for everything the bank’s president, Bob Dudley, and his good-ol’-boy executives hate: She’s Italian and grew up in a North Carolina trailer park; her best friend at North Carolina State, Sally Chambers, was black; and she was once married to socialite Sam Reese, who’s now more appropriately engaged to a woman from an old-money family.

 There is one man who appreciates her Cinderella story—entrepreneur Jake Lawrence, part fictional son of Bill Gates and part James Bond. He tells Angela he needs her experience to manage the portfolio of his billion-dollar deal, and he promises her the one thing she can’t get for herself—custody of her son, whom she sees one weekend a month.

 Angela’s dry humor—by her own admission, a remnant from her trailer-park days—comes in handy as loyalties blur and Dudley worries that Lawrence is accumulating stock to acquire Sumter. Her suspicion of Lawrence’s motivations for selecting her, along with a lead from a reporter friend, inspires Angela to research Sumter’s transactions with the bank’s low-income clientele—eventually, at the risk of her life.

Silent Partner gets bogged down only when Frey—a principal at a Northern Virginia equity firm—explains necessary financial concepts. Fast-paced with plenty of realistic dialogue, it’s a strong addition to his string of financial thrillers.

Stephen Frey