Pat Foy leads a charmed life. She has a close-knit family, an expensive home, and a satisfying career as a landscape designer. She also reads mystery novels all the time–yet she can’t see what is happening right in front of her eyes, and is astonished when her husband, Frank, is arrested for accounting fraud at LinkAge, the huge telecommunications firm that employs him. “How could anything that boring be illegal?” she wonders. The scandal hits the press and threatens to drain the Foys’ bank account, send Frank to prison, and tear their family apart.
Frank claims that fudging the numbers is standard practice in today’s go-go business atmosphere. Everyone does it, or would if he could. Americans love recklessness, he insists. They admire scalawags. Pat does too–at least in novels. And it’s hard for Pat to imagine who has suffered from LinkAge’s bankruptcy. So she decides to search out the victims, and finds more than she bargained for. At first she thinks that all she has to do to make amends is whip out her checkbook. What she doesn’t know is that events have already begun to spin out of control, and that the future holds as many twists and turns as any of the whodunits she has read.
Jacqueline Carey’s whip-smart and irresistibly sly novel deftly portrays the dire costs of today’s corporate culture of runaway greed–and brings to life a fractured landscape filled with CEOs-turned-robber barons, privileged lives punctured by wretched excess, and personal relationships put to the ultimate test.
The story, perhaps reflecting its protagonist, can wander, but Carey's reflections on executive-suite malfeasance are clever, not to mention timely.