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July 15, 2012 / John Sheridan

Review: Fifteen Digits by Nick Santora


Links: Amazon, Kindle, Amazon UK

Nick Santora has a hell of a track record in TV with Prison Break, Lie to me and Law & Order featuring highly (albeit some shows as producer rather than writer) so no wonder he has made the transition to writing books. That said, none of these shows has ever featured regularly on my viewing list – I only watched Prison Break maybe twice and Law & Order even less than that!

Maybe it’s me but I found that the insertion of a few lines here and there functioned nearly like a trailer for next week’s episode telling you it is all going to end badly…maybe this stylistic device was overused slightly, certainly I felt it was by the end of the novel but more of that anon.

“15 digits” represents the 3 digits each co-conspirator has to input to access the numbered account that they have setup to harbor their ill-gotten gains. I guess the main failing was that I didn’t really feel for any of the characters and by the time I did it was too late. Rich, as the lead you should feel something for him shouldn’t you? Orphaned as a child and then his lawyer blew the compensation case but never told him so even though said lawyer has eased his way into his law-firm for him it’s in the print room and only after he’s worked building sites for a few years. Spade as the lawyer who comes up with the original conspiracy is supposed to be the villain of the piece but the failure to engender any sympathy at all for him might be a weakness but there again the entire Spade family come across as vindictive b@stards so maybe not. Dylan felt like a caricature as a token Puerto Rican badass until some time was spent on expanding out his backstory and suddenly he felt real. Likewise the reunion of Eddie with his father carried more weight than any of the story featuring Rich Mauro or Jason Spade. Vice (the fifth conspirator) you cheer for as he rights the wrongs he endured from his parents just as you do for Eddie particularly in the manner he faces down his long absent father. So there we have the main characters and the three supporting ones were the best but wafer thin at times.

What we have is a white collar conspiracy to take advantage of inside information to buy and sell impacted stocks. They are dependent on each other to access the cash but Spade is the weak link as his motivations are less altruistic than the rest, not to mention his coke habit. When the violence comes in, it is still unexpected notwithstanding the aforementioned “trailers” and accordingly its impact is felt all the more. But before the end we’re back to foretelling what’s going to happen “he didn’t know it then but it was the last kiss they’d ever share” and I groaned, why can’t anything come as a surprise???

Loved the last line but can’t imagine he made it though.

My rating is 6 out of 10.


Is it really insider trading if you’ve been an outsider your entire life?

Five men. Five walks of life. Every day they come together at the white shoe law firm Olmstead & Taft. But they’re not lawyers. They’re “Printers”: blue-collar guys consigned to the dark basement of the firm charged with copying, collating and delivering the mountains of paperwork that document millions of dollars of sensitive legal secrets.

Until the five are approached by an ambitious young attorney who teaches them what they have: insider information. Together they make a plan to take the classified documents that pass through their hands every day and use them to get rich. They create a joint account to deposit the spoils. An account with a safeguard–each one only knows one section of the access code.

Which means that for all five conspirators, there’s no way out. But as too much money piles up to go unnoticed, the Printers will discover there’s one thing even worse than being an outsider: being in too deep.

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