The time is the not-so-distant future. The place is Wall Street. The United States has been at war for three years with the Confederation of Arab States, an expensive war both in lives and oil lost. Gas prices in America have risen to an unheard of $6.00/gallon, creating not just an oil crisis but the perfect scenario for illegal profiteering. Delaney & Strong, one of the country's oldest and most respected investment banks, is having its own crisis: cash reserves are dangerously low and several recent deals have not yielded expected results. The company's best and brightest, Tom Hanson, has had his own share of recent bad luck--he hasn't brought in a single high paying client for months, his personal life is devastated by a nasty divorce, and his ethics are in serious jeopardy. When one of Delaney & Strong's largest clients, Condor Oil & Gas, approaches Tom to take over their upcoming merger after the murder of their account executive Richard Kester, Tom is stunned. Not only is Tom not an oil and gas expert, but Richard was one of his best friends. Still, Condor's CEO Jared Tolson insists and he's not a man easily dissuaded. This is a twenty billion dollar merger with a seemingly oil-rich Russian company, and both Tom and Delaney & Strong are as publicly beyond reproach as Tolson could hope. Back at Delaney & Strong, the reactions to Tom's deal sets the viper's nest abuzz. Delaney's top oil and gas man, Hank Wiess, recruits newly hired Harvard grad Shane Waller as his in-house spy as tries to discredit Tom's work. Another new hire, Harvard grad and environmental idealist Abby Gallagher becomes Tom's go-to girl as he perches precariously between revitalizing his career and trying desperately to cling to his nearly lost morals. It's not until Tom begins to unravel the proposed merger bit by bit, that pieces of a global conspiracy puzzle start to fall into place. From the oil feeds of the Middle East to the Russian Mafia and even the United States Senate, greed, fear and envy chisel away at "the deal" until finally Tom finds himself in a life-or-death race against what's right and what's real.


Harvey Kahn