Manhattan. A ruthless serial killer is butchering financial industry high rollers. FBI Special Agent Silver Cassidy, the head of a task force that's on a collision course with disaster, finds herself fighting impossible odds to stop the murderer before he can kill again. Struggling to balance the hunt for a savage predator with the challenges of being a single parent, Silver finds herself thrust into a nightmare of brutality that will demand every ounce of determination she possesses to survive.
Q&A with Russell Blake
Q: Silver Justice is a departure from your usual action/adventure thrillers. Why a police procedural/serial killer epic featuring a female protagonist?
Russell: I got the idea for a strong female protag who was a take no prisoners Fed when I was thinking about a sequel to Fatal Exchange. I sort of thought, wouldn't it be interesting to write a Silence of the Lambs kind of main character, a la Agent Starling, but make her more experienced, & have her dealing with a host of complications from her personal life even as she's involved in the most important case of her career? I wanted her to be really richly drawn, & complex, & struggling with issues that are catastrophic, so the pressure just keeps mounting until you're wondering what more can happen without her head exploding. And I wanted her to be very smart, & capable, but also address the issues of a female swimming upstream in a male-dominated career. I like the way Silver turned out. She became very real for me as I wrote the book, & I can envision her carrying a whole series. She's definitely got the depth to do it.
Q: The book explores the causes of the 2008 financial crisis & posits a frighteningly plausible conspiracy.
Russell: I've always been uncomfortable with the official explanations for how the entire market for mortgage backed securities could collapse overnight, triggering a run on the stock market & a tunneling of the biggest names in American finance, & plunging the world into crisis. As I began researching the root causes, I quickly arrived at a number of extremely disturbing conclusions. The more I researched, the worse it got. By the time I was done, I felt like I could write a 500 page treatise on the topic, & the art was to synthesize all of that into something believable, digestible, and upon which I could frame the story without browbeating the reader. I think this book is probably my most believable conspiracy yet, so much so I'm very uncomfortable saying where the truth ends & the fiction starts, assuming it starts at all. I will say that the 2008 crisis is the crime of the century, if not all recorded history, & the hypothesis I provide will jar & disturb any thinking person to the point that they're sitting back going, "No way." The horrible part about it is that much of it is truth parading as fiction. Interested readers can research the meat of it, & I guarantee it will alter their world view. Not too many fiction novels can stake that claim.
Q: Silver Justice is harshly critical of the market & the regulators, as well as the entire political machine. Why?
Russell: We're living through extraordinary times - a once a century redistribution of wealth. As I educated myself on the causes of the Depression & the 29 Crash, I was struck by how corrupted all the elements of the system are, & probably have been for eons. I think most people believe that the cops are honest, & that there are protections in place. They are sorely mistaken, & it costs them dearly for their misconceptions. As an aside, I'm sure that this novel will be extremely unpopular with the financial industry. Nobody wants the warts of the system displayed for examination, especially if their livelihood depends on everyone believing all is well. In the end, I leave it for readers to make up their own minds.