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Steven Archer, a software engineering company owner who sold his company and retired at the young age of 39, is aggravated at how the stock market is being manipulated. He goes after Nicholas Griffen, head of Griffen Ventures and a notorious trader with the golden touch.
Griffen is the master of the "pump and dump," and has been manipulating a biotech firm's value, making millions for his investors and himself in the process. Steve exposes the gambit, and that doesn't set well with Griffen, who goes after him, employing the services of one of his clients – a successful import/export broker who just happens to be head of Russian Mafiya in U.S.
It costs him plenty, and has Homeland Security sniffing around his place. Steve does what he needs to do – he goes underground, unreachable by all except those he trusts. He's also angry ... and he wants some payback.
With moral support and cogent advice from "The Group" – his online confidants – Steve puts his plan together and in motion. The technology/web fanatics may all be paranoid, but just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean "they're" not out to get you, right?
His quest takes him into Mexico, then the Caribbean – to Cuba for a layover, followed by an intermediate stop at St. Martin before heading over to Anguilla. What's on Anguilla? Hopefully, some answers. That's when he meets Antonia Donitelli, a beautiful Italian woman battling her own demons.
Eventually, the inevitable happens. Despite the greatest of precautions, Steve's whereabouts is discovered. Once again, he's on the run, this time to South America, where things take a turn for the worse – the bad guys really start playing rough. He's lucky to escape with Antonia to Italy.
What happens there results in what can only be described as a volcanic eruption preceded by a flurry of temblors and resulting in a totally transformed landscape.
Mañana Press, digital edition ($4.47 list)