Review

Power Play

by Joseph Finder

POWER PLAY is somewhat of a different book for New
York Times
bestselling author Joseph Finder. While some of his
previous novels have taken place on a global playing field, almost
all of POWER PLAY is set in a hunting lodge. The
relatively small canvas on which this masterpiece is painted simply
means that he wrings more thrills per square foot than any book
released this year.

Setting notwithstanding, Finder’s trademark elements ---
strong plotting, memorable characterization and exquisitely paced
prose --- remain in place. And let’s not forget his penchant
for taking unusual and obscure topics, explaining them coherently
and integrating them into the bedrock of his storyline. Anyone who
reads a Finder novel is more intelligent for the experience,
and POWER PLAY is no exception. Prepare yourself to be
educated about aircraft construction and financial
institutions’ account security procedures --- and to want to
learn more about these subjects upon completion of the book.

POWER PLAY centers on Hammond Aerospace Corporation, which
isn’t as huge as Lockheed or Boeing but is still a player in
the game. One of Hammond’s most significant game pieces is
The SkyCruiser, and the company is on the verge of taking it to
bigger and better places --- if nothing goes wrong. Its top
officers take an offsite leadership retreat at a remote lodge on an
island off of British Columbia for some team building and
brainstorming. However, things go drastically wrong all too quickly
when a mysterious gang of well-trained and extremely well-informed
commandos takes the leadership team hostage. The price of freedom
is the transfer of half a billion dollars from the Hammond
corporate accounts into a secret offshore account. It appears that
the executives are going to have to pony up, but then there’s
the X-factor to consider: Jake Landry.

Landry is a junior executive with Hammond, and his presence at the
retreat is happenstance. He is merely a substitute for his own
superior and barely worthy of notice from the other heavy hitters
--- at least initially. But Landry grew up hard and has a
background that is, to put it mildly, a bit more equipped for
handling the type of situation that the staff is now facing. Before
the long night at the hunting lodge is over, the commando team will
have to determine who is the captor and who is the captive. The
answers will not come easily.

Finder always creates memorable characters, but he has outdone
himself with Landry. A bit of a wise guy who is comfortable in his
own skin, Landry is infused with a street sense that serves him
well in dealing with both the shark-like executives from Hammond
and the truly dangerous human carnivores who have invaded the
retreat. Finder’s combination of plot and characterization
gives POWER PLAY a readability quotient to the degree
that it almost seems as if putting the book down at any point
before finishing it is akin to a criminal act. This is a fabulous
offering from an author who, unbelievably enough, may have his best
work yet ahead of him.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 19, 2011

Power Play
by Joseph Finder

  • Publication Date: August 21, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • ISBN-10: 0312347480
  • ISBN-13: 9780312347482