Friday, April 4, 2014

Drew Chapman Thrills The Ascendant

There are many ways to fight a war, but not all of them are obvious. The first shots fired in the next one might even go unnoticed despite real-life casualties — men and women who see their life savings disappear or their local housing market tumble or the dollar weaken as bond prices fall.

Other attacks might be slightly more obvious but equally untraceable. A virus could destroy the viability of a software company or a computer chip could short out the safety protocols at a major manufacturing plant or a mechanical failure might force a pilot to bring a flight in manually.

To the rest of the world, such events would come across as merely happenstance. They could be attributed to anything and everything, ranging from the natural course of market corrections to technical imperfections in software or hardware unless, of course, someone has the wherewithal to trace it back — someone like Garrett Reilly, a rising star on Wall Street because he has a knack for numbers.

The Ascendant by Drew Chapman is a different kind of modern thriller. 

Reilly was one of the first to catch the market oddity. Someone was selling off an extraordinary amount of treasury notes, flooding the market and driving prices down. Not everyone noticed it was happening, but Reilly did. There was a pattern to it, providing him a great opportunity to short sell the bonds and the future strength of his country's economy along with it.

Reilly has a gift. It was the same gift that led his former professor, Avery Bernstein, to hire him as a young trader. Bernstein didn't even have to be convinced. He had once given Reilly a clustering of algorithms test only to see Reilly score so well it defied credulity. And when Bernstein made him take the test again, monitored and in a locked room, Reilly scored even higher.

So when Reilly brought the bond selloff to Bernstein's attention, there wasn't much to talk about. Reilly had not only noticed it but also knew almost immediately who was behind it. Based on the firms employed to do it, the amount of bonds being sold, and intervals in which they were sold, he knew it was the Chinese.

For whatever reason, they were attempting to flood the market with debt in hope of making interest rates skyrocket and the dollar crater. It was the first shot in what some would think of as a war, not one that was fought with bombs and bullets but one fought online and across financial markets.

Once brought to the attention of the federal government, it was only a matter of time before it would attempt to recruit the first person to notice it. Reilly was about to be recruited to lead a new kind of special operations team — not the kind that work in the field but the kind who protect the virtual borders of the United States in between rounds of first person shooters and other games.

A couple more graphs about author Drew Chapman. 

Chapman is the kind of the writer whose work is better known than his byline. He helped write Pocahontas for Walt Disney Pictures and Ironman for 20th Century Fox. He also creates television shows for ABC, Fox and Sony. His most recent project includes an 8-part miniseries called The Assets.

Although he splits his time between Seattle and Los Angeles nowadays, Chapman was born and raised in New York City. His work history includes a little bit of everything. He was a reporter, bartender, bike messenger, and even a knish vendor at Yankee Stadium. All that changed when he moved to Los Angeles and began working in film production.

The Ascendent By Drew Chapman Decodes 7.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

While the character development only scratches the surface, Chapman brings a new kind of anti-hero to life. Reilly is gifted, apathetic and arrogant but somehow manages to become a protagonist anyone can appreciate. The plot and storyline development are as a sharp as the concept of a secret war.

The Ascendant: A Thriller by Drew Chapman is available on Amazon. You can also download it for iBooks or find The Ascendant by Drew Chapman at Barnes & Noble. The audiobook is narrated by George Newbern with a warm and casual cadence.
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